Blackhawks: 3 Players That Might Be Better Off In The AHL Next Year

By Jimmy Lynch
Chicago Blackhawks, Adam Boqvist #27, Matthew Highmore #36 Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Blackhawks, Adam Boqvist #27, Matthew Highmore #36 Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /
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Ian Mitchell #51, Chicago Blackhawks
Ian Mitchell #51, Chicago Blackhawks Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports /

Ian Mitchell

Ian Mitchell is in a similar position as Boqvist. This was his first year in the NHL, and going into it Mitchell was the number one pick to be a game-changer on the blue line. But everyone seemed to have forgotten that Mitchell was just 22 going into the year.

Having not played a game in the NHL before this past season expecting him to play an entire season in the top four was going to be nearly impossible. Mitchell ended up needing some time in Rockford last season, and I think that would be a good idea again this coming season.

Maybe he starts in the NHL and then after ten or so games they send him down for a few weeks to check in and play in a bigger role. Mitchell probably won’t be playing in a top pairing role in Chicago, but he can in Rockford.

In 39 games he had seven points in the NHL, and he had zero in five games with the IceHogs. There is no reason to push a young player like Mitchell into a role he is not ready to play. Something Bowman has done a poor job in the past noticing is that these young players can develop further.

He gave away Teuvo Teravianen when he was still young, and the same is true for Phillip Danault. Now those two guys are on the other side of 25 and have become household names in their respective franchises.

Stan Bowman eluded to it himself when the team added Nikita Zadorov. Defensemen take longer than forwards to develop, and someone around 25 or 26 is just hitting their prime as a defenseman, Mitchell still has some time before he is around that age, so give him a little bit more time to develop before tossing him in the lion’s den that is the NHL ice.