Clarkson University Hockey All-Star Mitchell strives for Stanley Cup glory
Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 10:28 pm

With the Stanley Cup Finals slated to begin this week former Clarkson University Hockey All-Star Willie Mitchell will strive to become the latest Golden Knight to raise professional hockey’s most coveted trophy.

Mitchell and his Los Angeles Kings teammates will face-off against the New Jersey Devils in the best-of-seven final National Hockey League series, beginning this Wednesday (the Kings defeated the Devils 5/30 2 -1) at the Prudential Center in Newark. After playing Game 2 in New Jersey on June 2 the series will move to the west coast with Games 3 and 4 to be play at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 4-6. Full Schedule

Los Angeles Kings website:

In his 12th year in the NHL, Mitchell has been a standout defenseman for the Kings and has played a key role in leading Los Angeles to its first appearance in the Stanley Cup finals since Dave Taylor ’77 helped guide the franchise to its first showing in 1993.

A 6-3, 208-pound defenseman from Port McNeill, British Columbia, Mitchell, the oldest player on the Kings' roster at age 35, has skated in all 14 games during LA's impressive postseason run. The Kings knocked out the top-seeded Vancouver Canucks in five games in the Western Conference first-round series, and then swept the Number 2 seed St. Louis Blues out of the postseason with a second-round 4-0 sweep. The Kings become only the second No. 8 seed to reach the Stanley Cup finals after a five-game win over the No. 3 Phoenix Coyotes in the conference finals. Los Angeles last played on May 22.

Finally the Kings' Willie Mitchell Makes It:

In his second season with Los Angeles, Mitchell has battle back from a concussion that forced him to sit out the second half of the 2009-10 campaign with the Vancouver Canucks, and has been one of the most consistent defenseman in the NHL this season. He skated in 76 games during the regular season, recording 24 points on five goals and 19 assists along with 44 minutes in penalties, and was the Kings’ leader in plus/minus at +20.

Mitchell will look to join former Clarkson classmates, Erik Cole (Carolina, 2006) and Kent Huskins '01 (Anaheim, 2007) with his name engraved upon the Stanley Cup. Former Golden Knight all-stars Colin Patterson '84 (Calgary, 1989) and Todd Marchant (Anaheim, 2007) also represent Clarkson on the Stanley Cup.

Playing at Clarkson for two seasons in the late 1990s before pursuing his professional career, Mitchell, along with Cole and Huskins, helped to lead Clarkson to a pair of 20+-win campaigns, consecutive berths in the NCAA Tournament and ECAC regular season and tournament titles. In his final season at Clarkson as a sophomore in 1998-99, Mitchell scored perhaps the most dramatic goal in the Green and Gold’s lengthy history when he connected from center ice at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid in the ECAC Tournament semifinal round against Princeton for the winning goal with just 2.7 seconds left in regulation for a 6-5 victory. The Knights went on to defeat St. Lawrence in the championship game, 3-2. Mitchell was named the 1999 ECAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player.

Mitchell skated in 68 games for the Golden Knights, recording 55 points from the blueline on 19 goals and 36 assists. He was named ECAC Co-Rookie of the Year, along with Cole, in 1997-98 and earned First-Team ECAC All-Star honors and Second-Team Titan All-America accolades in 1998-99.

He was selected by New Jersey in the eighth round (199th overall) in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft. Mitchell began his NHL career with the Devils in the 1999-2000 campaign, and played 18 games in New Jersey before being traded to Minnesota on March 4, 2001. He played parts of five seasons for the Wild from 2001-2006 before a trade to Dallas on March 9, 2006. Mitchell was signed as a free agent by Vancouver on July 1, 2006 and joined the LA organization as an unrestricted free agent on August 25, 2010.

He has played in 719 NHL regular season games, accumulating 153 points on 29 goals and 124 assists, along with 686 penalty minutes. Through 65 postseason games, he has recorded 11 points (3-8) and 64 penalty minutes.