Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sharks Gameday: The Rise of Torrey Mitchell

Vancouver Canucks (2-0-1) @ San Jose Sharks (2-0-1)

I'll admit I knew precious little regarding Sharks prospect Torrey Mitchell prior to this month. Yeah, I read a few stories last March regarding his agreeing to a contract with the Sharks and subsequent stint in Worcester that had AHL coach Roy Sommers giving the forward rave reviews, but I didn't pay too much attention. I mean, how good can a guy drafted 126th overall be, right?

Pretty damn good, apparently, if the radio commentary of "Dictionary" Dan Rusanowsky and David "I have a speech empediment" Maley along with a few Mercury News stories are to be believed. It would appear that the Sharks have once again struck gold with a post-first round pick out of the NCAA, a trend that is evident in the development of Matt Carle and Joe Pavelski.

A University of Vermont alum, Mitchell is dazzling with his speed, skill and two-way effectiveness and, along with fellow prospect Devin Setoguchi, is making a legitimate case for an opening-night roster spot and is sure to get a long look now. Mitchell is scheduled to play between Patrick Marleau and Milan Michalek tonight as the Sharks host the Vancouver Canucks in preseason action at the Tank. A 3-1 decision over the Ducks last night raised San Jose's exhibition record to 2-0-1.

The Sharks announced another series of roster cuts on Thursday and PJ over at Sharkspage takes a look at the remaining training camp roster. Eliminating longshots Tomas Plihal, Craig Valette, Riley Armstrong, Graham Mink, Brennan Evans, Derek Joslin, Brad Norton, Tom Walsh and Taylor Dakers, and assuming Patrick Marleau will stick at left wing, we're left with a depth chart that somewhat resembles this:




I'm not a big fan of playing Marleau up at LW, but Ron Wilson has given every indication that's exactly what he plans to do. I could very well see Marcel Goc and/or Joe Pavelski traded to make room for Mitchell or Devin Setoguchi, but there's a chance either of the latter two will start on opening night anyway, granted they build on already impressive preseason showings with good games tonight against Vancouver.

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