Mar 27, 2013; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Colorado Avalanche center John Mitchell (7) skates with the puck against Calgary Flames during the second period at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary Flames won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Get to Know Your Colorado Avalanche: John Mitchell

Welcome to “get to know your Avs”! This feature will take a look at current Avalanche players (and maybe some staff, too) to give you an idea as to just who these guys are and what they mean to the Avalanche.

Yes, some (or most) of you will already know these guys but don’t be party poopers; nobody likes party poopers.

Today, we look at role player extraordinaire, fourth-line center: John Mitchell.

Who: John MitchellNicknames: Mitch (which sounds so bro-ish)

How He Came to Denver: Signed as a free agent July 2012.

What he’s done: Mitchell was a pleasant surprise last year as a center in the team’s bottom six last year, scoring 10 times over 47 games, up from the five he tallied in 63 games with the New York Rangers the previous year.

No one expected those kind of numbers – he would have likely hit 20 at that pace over a full season, far about his expectations – out of a guy more known for his defensive work than his offensive game.

What he means to the team currently: Mitchell will likely take over the fourth line center role this year with Matt Duchene, Paul Stastny, and Nathan MacKinnon taking over the top three center spots respectively.

He has the flexibility to play wing, as he did during his time in New York and Toronto at times, and should provide good energy and maybe even a little bit of scoring as a complimentary player.

What to expect: It would be foolish to expect last year’s output of Mitchell this year; there’s no way he’ll see the ice enough to manage that type of pace but if he could manage double-digit goals for the year, that would be a big boon from a fourth line center.

Instead, he’ll be relied on to provide energy, a little bit of physicality, strong defense, and heads up play. Anything after that will be a bonus.  Look for somewhere in the neighborhood of seven goals, 16 points for the year.

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