Kevin Mitchell finds himself in a familiar position among the defensemen of Austria’s Erste Bank Eishockey Liga. As a member of Villacher SV, Mitchell is currently in eleventh overall in scoring for defensemen, a position he’s occupied for the two previous seasons. This past season, 2009-10, he was tied for the eleventh spot with another Ontario Hockey League alumnus, Alan Letang (see previous post on Alan).
Mitchell spent four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League from 1997-98 to 2000-01. His first three seasons were spent with the Guelph Storm and his final season was played in an Oshawa Generals uniform. In his first season with Guelph, the team won the Robertson Cup as OHL playoff champions then lost in overtime in the Memorial Cup Final.
The high scoring defenseman tied for the lead in points for Guelph in 1998-99 with Joe Gerbe (see previous post on Joe) at 78 points. His 26 goals that season were the most by any Ontario Hockey League defenseman. The following season, he topped Gerbe for the team lead with 77 points. He led all OHL defensemen in assists (58) and points (77). In both those seasons, Mitchell was an OHL Second Team All-Star.
Kevin was drafted in the ninth round of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft but the Calgary Flames, 234th overall. Mitchell never played a game in the NHL but played for several teams in the AHL and ECHL before switching to Europe. In 2001-02, he was chosen to the ECHL’s All-Rookie Team as a member of the Louisiana IceGators.
His journeys in Europe began during the NHL lock-out season of 2004-05 as a member of the Iserlohn Roosters of Germany’s Deutsche Eishockey Liga. His 37 points in 50 games were good for second on the team.
Mitchell has since played in Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia and the Czech Republic. At the 2008 EBEL All-Star Game, Kevin won the fastest slap shot competition. This past season, 2009-10, he was captain of Olimpija Ljubljana of the EBEL but was loaned to HC Pardubice of the Czech Republic’s Extraliga for their playoff run that resulted in a championship victory.
Kevin also appears in this previous post at OHL Alumni Central featuring the members of the 1997-98 Robertson Cup winning Guelph Storm team that were still active in pro hockey during the 2009-10 season.
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