Boston has ferried Mitchell up and down between the NHL and AHL frequently throughout this season, his first in the Bruins organization. This is his second time on the waiver wire since the regular season began, last clearing on October 26. Given that he’s now played more than ten games in Boston since then, he will need to clear them again to head to AHL Providence.
Most recently, the Bruins brought Mitchell up from Providence under emergency conditions on December 23, and he logged 10:50 of ice time and recorded a +1 rating in that night’s 3-2 loss to the Wild. Boston converted his recall into a standard one the following day. He was a healthy scratch in their lone game since the holiday break, a win over the Sabres on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old right-shot defender has played in 13 games for the Bruins on the season, logging replacement-level stats in replacement-level minutes. He’s recorded two assists, a +6 rating, and a mediocre Corsi share of 46.6% at even strength while averaging 15:18 per game. He’s also made four appearances for the P-Bruins this season, recording an assist and a -4 rating. The 2017 second-round pick of the Blackhawks joined the Bruins in June when his signing rights were part of the trade for winger Taylor Hall, promptly inking a one-year, one-way deal worth the league minimum of $775K.
Mitchell has always been a strong skater and was a high-end point producer in college, but he hasn’t shown the all-around game worthy of an NHL defender throughout his four seasons of experience at the top level. He’s never eclipsed the 40-game mark in a single season and has yet to avoid an AHL assignment, only earning NHL jobs as the sixth or seventh defenseman on the Blackhawks’ and Bruins’ depth charts at the highest. He lands on the waiver wire today with four goals, 14 assists and 18 points with a -15 rating over 95 NHL games.
It’s unlikely another team will submit a claim for Mitchell over the next 24 hours since he’s already gone unclaimed once this season. He will be a restricted free agent with salary arbitration eligibility next summer.