The Chicago Blackhawks, no longer without Seth Jones, have returned Ian Mitchell to the minor leagues. The opportunity for Mitchell was limited, and he’ll have to wait for his next NHL chance after being scratched last night.
Jones returned from a thumb injury and played more than 21 minutes for the Blackhawks in their game against the Dallas Stars, scoring a goal and recording three shots on net. All six Chicago defenders actually recorded at least one point in the 6-4 loss, with depth options like Jarred Tinordi even crossing the 18-minute mark.
In a normal situation, it might be surprising that the Blackhawks would send Mitchell back down given his obvious upside, but the team has been very careful to keep young players in Rockford this season. If the 23-year-old Mitchell was going to sit in the press box with the NHL club, they might as well give him back to the AHL so he can play in regular games. With seven other defensemen in Chicago seemingly ahead of him on the depth chart, it doesn’t make much sense to keep him up.