The Chicago Blackhawks have agreed to an entry-level contract with top defensive prospect Ian Mitchell, the team announced Monday.
The contract is for three years, but the average annual value and the start date for the contract have not been determined due to the NHL's suspension of play during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Mitchell, a 2017 second round draft pick of the Blackhawks, has spent the last three seasons serving as a key member of the University of Denver’s blue line, and was the team's captain during the 2019-20 season. In 36 games last season for the Pioneers, Mitchell racked up 10 goals and 22 assists, with 16 penalty minutes and a plus-7 rating.
Those numbers were good enough for Mitchell to be named a First-Team All-American over the weekend. He was also named First-Team All-National Collegiate Hockey Conference.
There had been some concern that Mitchell would return to college for his senior season, but those concerns are over as the blue liner will look to earn a spot on the Blackhawks’ roster.
The Blackhawks have a glut of young defensemen on their roster, with Lucas Carlsson, Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin all on entry-level contracts for next season. Dennis Gilbert, Alec Regula and Chad Krys are all on ELC’s as well, giving the team a slew of options to choose from as they fill out their roster for the 2020-21 season.