32-Year-Old Center – Montreal Canadiens
Torrey Mitchell Contract Information:
Signed a three-year, $3.6 million contract extension with the Canadiens in June 2015.
Mitchell will replace Ales Hemsky in the lineup for Sunday's road contest against the Rangers, Luc Gelinas of RDS reports.
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Torrey Mitchell: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
As far as fourth-liners go, Mitchell offered pretty good value last season. He scored a career-high 11 goals and his 19 points were his most since 2011-12. Like a lot of other players on the team, his production went south when the Habs went into their legendary slump. Mitchell scored five goals and had nine points through the first 13 games, only to see his offense dry up nearly entirely thereafter. There were times when the scoring-starved Canadiens prompted head coach Michel Therrien to move Mitchell off the fourth line, but his strengths as a hockey player reside in his defense and faceoff ability. Those are the traits that also get him regular ice time when Montreal’s a man down. The eight-year veteran is slated for a similar role on 2016-17, though Philip Danault could push him as the fourth-line center.
The young Sabres need some veterans to calm the ship in what will certainly be a rocky season. Arriving from Minnesota in a late-season trade, the 29-year-old averaged five more minutes per game in Buffalo. Mitchell will certainly play a bigger role with his new team, but it won’t be on the offensive side of the puck, having recorded just 36 goals in 392 career regular season games, and only seven in the last two seasons. Mitchell will play a defensive role for the Sabres and won’t contribute much on the score sheet.
Mitchell didn't offer much offense last season with just four goals and four assists in 45 games. He's mostly a defensive-minded forward.
Apologists who see the cup as half full would be quick to note that Mitchell reached a career high in points (9 G, 14 A) last season. That total does very little to fantasy owners, but it's hard to ignore the determination that Mitchell has shown since missing the 2008-09 regular season with a broken leg. Unfortunately, fantasy championships are not won by selecting players on character alone. Save for deeper leagues, Mitchell is safe to avoid in fantasy drafts.
A determined Mitchell took to the ice for 56 contests last year, which is pretty good considering that he was wiped from the entire 2008-09 regular season with a broken leg. After all, he depends on those quick legs to maintain his reputation as a high-energy role player. However, before he can offer any fantasy value, Mitchell must stay healthy and win back some minutes - he lost over a minute-and-a-half of average ice time in his sophomore season.
Mitchell had his entire 2008-09 regular season derailed after he sustained a broken leg in training camp. Not about to be forgotten, the charismatic center made a surprise comeback appearance in Game 3 of the 2009 Stanley Cup quarterfinals. This type of character is apparently valued by members of the Sharks’ front office as Mitchell was signed to a deal that keeps him in the bay area for three more years. Keep a close watch on this speedy skater as he figures to be a key player on the team’s third line and a bigger sleeper in deep fantasy leagues.
Mitchell contributed heavily to the Sharks' third line, an ideal spot for the emerging winger who is linked with talented offensive forces for teammates. He is a crowd pleaser and delighted fans by appearing in 82 games as a rookie in 2007-08. When it's time for the Sharks to kill a penalty, Mitchell's name will be called. Although his current value is low in most fantasy leagues, we should be saying otherwise in a few short years.
Mitchell decided to skip his senior season with the University of Vermont in order to sign with the San Jose Sharks. In the 2006-07 season with Vermont he posted 35 points (12 goals and 23 assists) in 39 games. Upon the conclusion of training camp, Mitchell will more than likely be sent down to Worchester. As the Sharks projected lineup only has one spot open, and they wouldn’t want to slow his growth by having him sit in the press box. With the depth up the middle for the Sharks, expect it to be a few more years until he gets a full time job. Though with all of the restrict free agents the Sharks have to deal with next season, he might see time sooner rather than later.