I am going to say Mitchell because MZA is going to play. There are no forward spots in the top-12. Therefore they will not stunt the development of Hagelin or Bourque by making them the 13th or 14th forwards. They will send them down and let them develop.
If you look, his production at the AHL level is impressive. And suggests he is more then just a banger.
He scored at a good clip the past two seasons in the AHL.
But so far, at the NHL level, he hasn't shown that ability, aside from the one play a couple games back.
He's got to stop thinking about his next fight, he isn't a fighter. He loses all his fights. And he's going to get himself hurt. He needs to focus on driving the net and pouncing on rebounds. Be a junk goal guy that can play strong down low and deep and around the net. Focus less on trying to be an agitator.
Just my opinion.
He has potential.
But if Zuccarello makes the team, im not sure who Weise plays above. Rupp? Would be the only one, maybe. But doubtful.
Oh I agree, I think a bunch of people deserve spots, but there are only so many forwards we can carry and play and most of these guys like Bourque are gonna be better served playing full games in the AHL instead of sitting in the pressbox/limited minutes. Other guys like Mitchell are just not gonna make it over guys like Prust, Rupp and Fedentenko, who already occupy the spots. Those guys pretty much had their spots on day 1 of camp.
I think the forward group you saw on thursday, minus EC and plus Boyle is what we are gonna see. But we already knew that.