The Chicago Blackhawks have used an abundance of young talent and prospects this season. Now, one of their most highly touted defensemen has attained an important milestone, as Ian Mitchell scored his first NHL goal tonight.
The goal came just 21 seconds into the second period of the ‘Hawks contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets, their first in a two-game series. Mitchell drove to the net and parked himself out in front of the blue paint. A crisp pass came across the crease from forward David Kampf, and Mitchell had a wide-open net to tip the net past Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo.
While this marks Mitchell’s first NHL goal, it is not his first point, as the young defenseman tallied an assist on Jan. 22, in a 4-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings. Offensive prowess isn’t exactly unusual for Mitchell. He scored 89 points (including 18 goals) during his collegiate career at the University of Denver.
While these numbers certainly don’t light up the NCAA the way that some forwards do, it is still a significant point total for a defenseman. It’s likely one of the major reasons why the Blackhawks drafted him 57th overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
The video of Ian Mitchell’s first NHL goal with the Chicago Blackhawks.
It seems that first career milestones are becoming a bit of a thing in tonight’s game, as defenseman Nicolas Beaudin also scored his first NHL goal, coming just seconds after Mitchell’s. It’s nice to see the young guns stepping up for this team, especially given the recent spate of victories that they’ve had.
Hopefully, the Blackhawks will be able to use this momentum to their advantage. They currently lead the Blue Jackets 4-2 in the third period, so another win to add to their streak would definitely be a feather in the cap for #51. Congratulations to Ian Mitchell, and may his first NHL goal be just one of many!