Thursday, July 28, 2005

Whalers' forward signs with Maple Leafs

John Ferguson, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Thursday that the club has signed forward John Mitchell to a multi-year entry level contract. In keeping with club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Mitchell, 20, played 63 games for Plymouth of the Ontario Hockey League last season collecting 75 points (25 goals, 50 assists) with 59 penalty minutes. He finished second in the OHL in shorthanded goals (5-tie), 13th in assists (tie) and 17th in points. He finished first on the team in goals (tie), first in assists, first in points, first in powerplay goals (8), first in shorthanded goals and fourth in plus/minus (+14).

He played four OHL playoffs games collecting two points (one goal, one assist). He led the team during the playoffs in points (tie).

Mitchell also appeared in two regular season games for St. John's of the American Hockey League after Plymouth had been eliminated from the OHL playoffs.

The native of Oakville, Ontario finished ninth in the OHL in points (82-tie) in 2003-04. Mitchell was Toronto's fourth choice, 158th overall in the 2003 Entry Draft and was a Whalers' co-captain last season along with Tim Sestito. Originally, Mitchell was Plymouth's first-round pick (19th overall) in the 2001 OHL Priority Selection and is also Plymouth's all-time leader in regular-season games played with 258.

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