Defenseman Ian Mitchell tries to capitalize on opportunities with the Blackhawks


Blackhawks defenseman Ian Mitchell is looking to impress the coaching staff and show he’s worthy of the lineup.

At the same time, he doesn’t play every night, so he has to fend off the idea that one mistake might be a healthy scratch for the next game.

As expected, Mitchell is just trying to focus on his game.

“If I have the opportunity to play calmly, I just try to make the most of it,” Mitchell said. “Obviously it’s hard to get the consistency and rhythm of play back, but that’s the nature of trying to break into the NHL. I have to.”

On Sunday, Mitchell was given the opportunity and scored his first goal of the season in the Hawks’ 2–1 loss to the Kings. A goal in the third period is what Coach Luke Richardson would like to see for Mitchell. A strong, accurate right-handed shot that showcases his offensive capabilities.

”yes, [Richardson] Just keep doing what you can offensively,” Mitchell said. “I think a big strength of my game is moving the puck and playing it.” [on] aggressive blue line. He then defensively won the fight, effectively moving the pack in the breakout. That’s where I can be really effective. So those are the things I have to be good at to get it done.”

On Monday, the Hawks assigned defenseman Isaac Phillips (who was scratched Sunday to make room for Mitchell) to Rockford and recalled defenseman Phillip Ruth from Icehog. Whether that means playing time remains to be seen, but his route to a stable role hasn’t been smooth.

Once considered a defensive prospect from the University of Denver, Mitchell appeared in 39 games for the Hawks during the shortened 2021 season. But instead of building on his NHL experience, he played only eight of his games for the Hawks last season, spending most of his time at Rockford.

Mitchell, now 24, is still trying to establish himself. Sunday was his 13th NHL game of the season.

“I think every player has a different path and sometimes it’s defense.” [it] It takes a while,” Mitchell says. “So I’ve been trying to keep improving my game and that’s pretty much all I can do. The road to the NHL isn’t easy, so I have to keep working and get to the point where I’m a regular in the NHL.”

Richardson said he and the coaching staff try to be open with players about what they do in the lineup and why. , hopes not to think too much about the decision. An example of this was Saturday in St. Louis, where Richardson played Phillips because he was better against his team of the “heavier” Blues.

Still, Richardson knows it won’t be easy to get in and out of the lineup.

“Good to see [Mitchell] You get rewarded at the end of the game,” Richardson said. “Hopefully it builds his confidence so he can continue.”

Note: Advocated by the Hawks Tyler Johnson (Left ankle) Injury list and recall forward Luke Phillip Originally from Rockford. Johnson didn’t play after Sunday’s first period and wore walking boots after the game.

• After the game on Sunday, the coach Luke Richardson the goalie said Jackson Stauber Will go on the Hawks’ next road trip. Alex Sturrock Concussion protocol remains.


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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