2014 NHL Draft Prospect: Mitch Slattery

Matt Christians

The Player

Mitch Slattery

Forward

Hill-Murray(MN) High School

2013-2014 stats: 25 games 18 goals 28 assists 46 points 32 PIMs

Height: 5'11.5" Weight: 185 lbs.

Final NHL Central Scouting Rank: 81st among NA skater

What are his strengths? Weaknesses?

Slattery is an aggressive offensive player that loves to have the puck on his stick. He's an effective skater that is strong on his skates and has excellent athleticism. He has the ability to be a high-end scoring threat. He also brings a bit of nastiness to his game, and loves to get under the skin of his opponents.

As far as weaknesses, Slattery can occasionally be lazy on the defensive end of the ice. He can also be selfish with the puck and doesn't utilize his teammates as well as he could.

How was his draft year? Trending up or down?

Slattery played defense up until two seasons ago. He made the switch to forward when he transferred to Hill-Murray as a junior in high school from Shattuck-St. Mary's, and his stock has really risen ever since. A strong fall Elite League season moved into consideration for the mid rounds of the draft, and a strong high school season, where he was one of the state's leading scorers against a relatively tough schedule solidified that projection.

Draft projection?

Slattery checked in at #81 among North American skaters on Central Scouting's final rankings. That ranking seems like a fair average, keeping in mind that he's a player with strong positives--his strength, scoring ability, pestiness--and strong negatives--lazy defense, selfishness--which means there's going to be a pretty wide range of where he's ranked on individual team lists. The third round is likely the ceiling for where he would be picked, and it would be a bit of a surprise if he wasn't picked by the end of the 5th round.

Pro Upside?

Again, there's such an extreme between the positives and negatives that it could really go either way.  But if Slattery improves on the defensive end of the ice and becomes a better passer--two things he'll be forced to do in the coming years as his competition improves--Slattery has to the potential to be an effective pest capable of providing some offense like a Brad Marchand-type of player.

Where will he go next?

Slattery has a commitment to St. Cloud State. His USHL rights are owned by the Fargo Force of the USHL. Slattery will likely play a year of junior hockey before heading off to St. Cloud, where he'll likely play at least two or three seasons with the Huskies before he's ready for the pros.

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