Kris Versteeg Makes Big Statement Regarding Hawks' Prospect.

Published April 18, 2020 at 12:23

There was a double dose of big news in the Chicago Blackhawks world this past week. Of course the piece of news that was talked about the most was two time Stanley Cup champ, Kris Versteeg, hanging up his skates and announcing his retirement. The other piece of big news was the Blackhawks signing defensive prospect Ian Mitchell. While Mitchell's name might not ring bells for some Blackhawks' fans, Mitchell is looked at like a huge piece of the Blackhawks blueline moving forward. The two are actually familiar with each other as they were recently teammates for the 2019 Spengler Cup. Versteeg is a big fan of Mitchell and had lots of praise for him when talking to the media this week. "He's a special player - he's unreal," Versteeg said of Mitchell. "Cale Makar (of the Avalanche) is a player Mitchell reminds me a lot of in the way he skates, how mobile he is, he can really shoot it and he's smart. He can walk the blue line the way Makar can. You don't want to say he's exactly that yet - and Makar is also young - but the way they move and the little intangibles they share really reminds me a lot of him."
According to Versteeg, Mitchell should be able to crack the Hawks' lineup next year. "He could play in the NHL next year, I think," Versteeg said. "Defense is a tricky position in the sense that (Mitchell) may be the Blackhawks' best offensive D-man but if they have a veteran in that spot or someone there who can contribute the same way and (Mitchell) can't contribute in a defensive role the way they want then he could go to the minors."But, to me, in watching him play well on the power play that wouldn't be his only attribute," Versteeg continued. "He can still penalty kill and he gets back for pucks and makes good first passes. I could see him anywhere in the D-lineup but it really comes down to minutes and where they see him in probably two or three years from now if not next year."The Blackhawks' best offensive dman? Let's GO!!!

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