In a few months…well that’s a whole different story.
The last Maple Leafs prospect still playing finally called it quits after a Memorial Cup in which his Windsor Spitfires downed Kelowna 4-1 in the final. Mitchell scored a natural hat trick in the tie-breaking game and scored another in the final. He finished the tournament with a share of the goal scoring lead.
Mitchell, a five-foot-eight, rock solid 207-pound right winger also scored 12 goals in 15 OHL playoff games. This atop a regular season in which he scored 33 goals and added 35 assists.
“It was an amazing experience,” said Mitchell. “It was our goal to make it to the Memorial Cup but when we lost the first two games (each by a single goal), we became the underdogs. That worked well for us.”
So what does Mitchell, the Leafs first draft pick, 74th overall in 2007, do for an encore?
“I am going to take two weeks off just to heal my body,” he said. “Some guys have been training for six weeks already and I can’t get too far behind the eight-ball.”
At 20, Mitchell has a year of junior eligibility left but has his sets sight on playing for the AHL Marlies in the autumn.
“I have a big challenge in front of me and that’s to make the Marlies and play pro,” Mitchell said. “I want to come back in top shape.”
Mitchell feels he has proven he has broadened his game.
“When I was playing for Oshawa I was more concerned with being a big goal scorer,” said Mitchell. “As soon as I got to Windsor, the coaches worked on broadening out my game. I think I’m a lot better all-around player now.”
Mitchell was plus 24 in the regular season, plus 14 in the playoffs.