Garrett Mitchell

Mitchell at Caps Development Camp over the summer (Photo credit: BridgetDS).

Mitchell (left) speaks to Trevor Bruess and Wade MacLeod in July, 2010. Photo credit: Chris Gordon/CapsSnaps.com

Mitchell (left) speaks to Trevor Bruess and Wade MacLeod. Photo credit: Chris Gordon/CapsSnaps.com

The Capitals have some great middleweight, gritty forwards. Guys like Matt Hendricks and Matt Bradley. Steve Pinizzotto is also down on the farm in Hershey. Now you can add one more name to that list: Garrett Mitchell.

The Capitals announced today that they signed the free agent right wing to a three-year entry-level contract beginning next season. The 19-year old Mitchell became the latest player from the 2009 Draft to be signed by the Caps. Previously, Marcus Johansson (1st round, 24th overall), Dmitri Orlov (2nd round, 55th overall), Cody Eakin (3rd round, 85th overall) and Brett Flemming (5th round, 145th overall) all elected to sign their entry-level deals. That leaves only Boston College defenseman Patrick Wey (4th round, 115th overall) — a member of Team USA in the 2011 WJC — and Benjamin Casavant (7th round, 205th overall) without contracts. Suffice to say, a very bountiful and productive draft class for General Manager George McPhee.

Mitchell, picked 175th overall in 2009 Entry Draft, would seem to project as a future third or fourth line player in the NHL if he develops fully. According to the HF page about Mitchell, his upside (besides the physical aspects) are leadership, penalty killing and skating.

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Carlson Looks Right at Home as Caps Blank Devils, 3-0

Neuvirth Save

Michal Neuvirth make a save on the bewildered $100 million dollar man (Photo credit: Bruce Bennett).

Veteran winger Mike Knuble netted two goals while registering one assist on the night. Photo credit: Andy Marlin

Veteran winger Mike Knuble netted two goals while registering one assist on the night. Photo credit: Andy Marlin

It’s easy to forget about John Carlson.

The rookie Washington Capitals defenseman logs 20 minutes a night, rarely makes stone-headed blunders and chips in the occasional pressure on transition.

Yet as the Caps nudge ever closer to clinching a fourth straight Southeast Division championship, Carlson’s rock-solid contributions are becoming increasingly harder to ignore.

The New Jersey native had two assists, logged almost 23 minutes of ice time and played nearly flawless hockey in a 3-0 shutout win of the New Jersey Devils. The win tied the Capitals for first place in the Eastern Conference with the Philadelphia Flyers and made an improbable New Jersey playoff bid seem even more unlikely.

Despite moving into third-place on the all-time Washington Capitals points list for rookies, Carlson was not named one of the three stars of the night. Yet his sharp work while joining the attack led to two goals, and his steadiness in the back helped the brilliant Michal Neuvirth register his fourth shutout and third since February 4.

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