Saturday, May 15, 2010

Meet The New Kid: Mitchell Callahan

Well, with little else to report as of late, I thought I'd take a look at the newest prospect to sign with the Red Wings: RW Mitchell Callahan from the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL. Callahan signed a 3-year entry-level contract with Detroit the other day and I took a little time to check on his past seasons to see just what we're buying into.

Here's the statline for Callahan the last two WHL seasons:

2008-2009: 70GP, 14G, 13A, 27PTS, +11, 188PIM
2009-2010: 72GP, 20G, 27A, 47PTS, -1, 165PIM

So there it is: almost 50 points in his most recent season, and placed 9th in the WHL for PIM. I think his role is obvious: Detroit/Grand Rapids will likely try to mold him into a Darren Helm/Justin Abdelkader type player. He will not immediately move to the Griffins however, as it has been stated Callahan will be returning to Kelowna for at least another year. A profile of Callahan from the people at HF (Hockey's Future) suggest that "At 5'11", he won't be a fighter in the NHL, but rather get under one's skin from the fourth line." There's a saying from where I grew up that goes, "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog." Callahan racked up 20 fights in 2008-2009, which ranked 2nd in the WHL. We'll see how he progresses over the next couple seasons.

My thoughts: It'd be nice to get this kid move to Grand Rapids as soon as he's skilled and conditioned enough to move to the farm team and get used to the style of hockey played in Detroit. I like him as a replacement in GR for Abdelkader who, in my mind, should have a regular spot on the Wings squad for his work last season. He's an average skater, so going the Helm route probably isn't going to happen, but Kelowna GM Bruce Hamilton was quoted as saying that "Daniel Carcillo in Philly is the kind of guy this guy is...", so we could have a potentially great agitator in the making to replace some of the older talkers like Kirk Maltby when their tenure is over. Overall, I'm excited at the idea of another rough, gritty forward that could create chaos on the forecheck, and hope that Callahan works hard and can make the roster one day.


George Malik said...

As he's still really young (August 1991 birthdate), he'll have to play in the WHL for another season, maybe two, but he'll definitely need a few years in the AHL to get his skating and conditioning up to par.

You're right on with your assessment: the Wings see him as a sort of Dallas Drake clone, a full-on grinder of a fourth line player whose job will be to bang the hell out if his opponents on the forecheck.

He reminds me of Drake because he just loves to grind and is one of those kids who'll come out of every scrum with a smile on his face, even if he loses a tooth in the process. He loves ticking people off, absolutely loves it.

Brad Butland said...

Agree totally, and that's what we've really lacked is that underlying 'edge' of having a couple guys like Drake and a younger Maltby who played the psychological game with opponents and helped throw the opposition off their rhythm.

The only thing I didn't like between Callahan's 2008-9 and 2009-10 seasons was the drop from +1 on the season to -11. It'd be nice to see him keep that edge and prevent himself from being a defensive liability.