Leafs Should Give Dale Mitchell a Shot At The Big Cheese
Dale Mitchell was drafted in the third round, 74th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2007.
Since then, Mitchell has been silently tearing up the OHL
In 2005-06, as a 17 year old, Mitchell put up 43 points in 65 games as an Oshawa General, spending most of his time on the third line for his rookie season. Impressive.
In his sophomore season he was more of a go-to guy in Oshawa, putting up an outstanding 43 goals and 80 points in 67 games, with 81 penalty minutes to go along with that.
To put his sophomore season in perspective, Leafs prized prospect Nazem Kadri had only 65 points in 68 games in his sophomore season.
In 2007-08 his total took a dip, as he put up 60 points in 63 games. Nonetheless, still a good season in the OHL.
In 2008-09, he was back over a point per game with 68 in 66 games on a new team, the memorial cup champion Windsor Spitfires.
Mitchell was a staple for his team in the playoffs, putting up an impressive 29 points in 20 games, putting him in fifth place behind the likes of Taylor Hall and Cody Hodgson.
In his most recent OHL season he was way over a point per game with 43 points in 32 games. Mitchell also won his second memorial cup with Windsor, putting up a solid 17 points in 19 games. He also grew a pretty sweet mustache.
His grand totals in the OHL are:
P: 294 with 2 memorial cups.
He is way below average in height at 5'9", but stands at a solid 207 pounds.
According to Hockeysfuture.com—"Mitchell is small, bullish, and has a low center of gravity. Mitchell is hard to knock off the puck. And once he has it in his possession, he knows what to do with it."
Today's NHL is being dominated by smaller players such as Patrick Kane, Zach Parise and Dereck Roy.
Mitchell is comparable to Patrick Sharp, as he is a hard working gritty forward that can really put the puck in the net. I see Mitchell as a very solid, second liner on any NHL team in the future.
The Leafs currently have one natural right winger, Colton Orr. Mitchell being a right wing could easily fill a roster spot for the Leafs on that very position at an extremely low cost, instead of spending money on an older player.
Mitchell is a proven winner (2 memorial cups, 67 points in playoffs) and has the right work ethic to play on Brian Burke's squad.
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