When the Capitals drafted him in the sixth-round (175th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, right wing Garrett Mitchell’s path to the NHL was never going to be an easy one. Just under eight years later, he is playing in his first NHL game.
Despite getting some extended looks in past training camps, the 5’11”, 186-pound Mitchell was never able to crack the Capitals’ Opening Night lineup. Year after year, he would be sent back to the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears, where he played his heart out every game, but never got the call to Washington until this morning, when he and Chandler Stephenson were recalled to play in tonight’s game against the Florida Panthers in the regular season finale.
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) April 9, 2017
Named the captain of the Bears before the start of the 2015-16 season, Mitchell has played a total of 352 games in the AHL, all with Hershey. In those 352 games, he has scored 46 times and added 56 assists for 102 points. In 70 games played with Hershey this season, Mitchell has 10 goals and 10 assists for 20 points. In 40 Calder Cup Playoff games with the Bears, Mitchell has 10 points (four goals, six assists), and was the team’s captain when they made a run to the Calder Cup Finals last season.
— Sandy (@capsfangirl) April 9, 2017
And another view…
— Al Koken(@RealSmokinAl) April 9, 2017
Mitchell is an excellent example of how hard work, perseverance, and dedication to the game of hockey can get a player to their ultimate goal of playing in the NHL. Capitals Head Coach Barry Trotz and General Manager Brian MacLellan wanted to reward Mitchell for his many years of loyalty and dedication to the organization, and they could not have picked a better time to do so. Upon arrival at Verizon Center, Mitchell gave an interview.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) April 9, 2017
Mitchell’s parents, his wife, their two daughters, and his mother-in-law were all able to attend his first NHL game and start at Verizon Center. It was announced that Mitchell’s jersey would be given to his parents following the game.
Mitchell was named CSN’s Palm Player of the Game, the Smart Player of the Game, and the game’s third star. He skated out for the Jerseys off Our Backs ceremony with his eldest daughter.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) April 10, 2017
NoVa Caps congratulates Garrett on his first NHL game!
By Michael Fleetwood