Denver’s Ian Mitchell gives up his final year for Blackhawks contract

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Ian Mitchell, the Chicago Blackhawks’ best defensive prospect, has decided to give up his senior season in Denver and sign an NHL entry contract, a source told ESPN.

Mitchell has yet to sign a contract, but the two sides have agreed on the terms. Barstool Sports first reported the deal.

Mitchell, 21, was a second round pick of the Blackhawks in 2017. He spent three years in Denver. The Blackhawks tried to sign Mitchell last summer, but he chose to return to the Pioneers in hopes of winning a championship.

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Mitchell captained Denver last season and set career highs with goals (10) and points (32) in 36 games. The Pioneers were ranked # 5 nationally when the NCAA closed the season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In January, Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman told reporters that Mitchell “dominated the games I have seen in Denver this year” and that “the defender’s game is exactly the way we want to play.”

“I wish he was here now,” said Bowman in January. “But I understand that as captain of your team, you want to go back and try to win the NCAA championship. We wish them good luck. Whenever the time is right, we will try to get him to come here. “

While Brent Seabrook, 34, and Duncan Keith, 36, are still on contract for the next few years, the Blackhawks hope that Mitchell and Adam Boqvist, 19, will eventually be able to take over the blue line. Boqvist, a first-round pick in 2018, has played 41 games this season.

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