Nation Network Prospect Profiles: #24 Mitchell Vande Sompel

High scoring Oshawa Generals swingman Mitchell Vande Sompel is one of the biggest wild cards among this 2015 class of first time draft eligible players. 

The undersized, skilled and extremely versatile skater has lined up as a forward and a defenseman for the Generals, and would often play up front and on the back-end in the same game. During the postseason, for example, the Generals penalty kill saw Vande Sompel lineup at forward. He fared extremely well there, but he’d shift back to defense for shifts at evens and on the power play.

For a variety of reasons, even beyond his positional curiosity, Vande Sompel is one of the most polarizing and toughest to peg players in this draft class. 

Bio

  • Age: 17.63 at the start of the season. Born February 11, 1997.
  • Birthplace: London, Ontario
  • Frame: 5’10, 183 lbs
  • Position: D/F
  • Draft Year Team: Oshawa Generals
  • Accomplishments: 2015 Memorial Cup Champion

Stats

GP ES G ES A1 ES A2 ES Pts ES Pts/GP ES GF% ES GF% Rel TmG% TmPts% AA Pts/GP EA Pts/GP Adj Pts/GP
58 3 6 14 23 0.52 69% 1% 4.56% 23.95% 1.03  1.17 1.11
  • TmG% = Percentage of team goals a player scored in that player’s games played
  • TmPts% = Percentage of team goals a player registered points on in that player’s games played
  • AA Pts/GP = Age adjusted points per game
  • EA Pts/GP = Era and league adjusted points per game
  • Adj Pts/GP = Age, era, and league adjusted points per game
PCS% 2014 PCS Pts/82 2014 PCS% 2015 PCS Pts/82 2015
10.4% 25.1 29.7% 25.5
PCS Most NHL GP PCS Highest Pts/GP
Sylvain Cote Dennis Wideman
Stephane Robidas

Mark Hardy

James Wisniewski

Yves Racine

Scouts

Draft rank:

NHL CSS ISS FutureConsiderations HockeyProspect Pronman McKeen’s McKenzie Button
34 (NA) 74 41 32 25  N/A 63 25

From Corey Pronman of ESPN:

Vande Sompel had a very interesting season. For the most part, he was Oshawa’s top defenseman, but when needed, he actually shifted to be the team’s top line center. That’s unique versatility, as he played forward all season on the penalty kill, so as they say in baseball, NHL teams might be able to “move him off the position” if teams are worried about his 5-10 frame on defense.

From Craig Button of TSN.ca

Mitchell has an excellent understanding of the game. He kills penalties as a forward which adds another significant element to his repertoire. He’s an excellent skater with speed, quickness, pace and agility and he can beat pressure but can also make plays on the move that creates offence. He’s unfazed by any of the challenges he faces in the game.

From McKeen’s:

A calculated puckrusher whose entries are clean and effective .. actively joins in the attack and spearheads the rush due to his deft footwork and ability to explode out of the zone .. his skating is elite as he possesses great lateral quickness and is extremely crisp on his edges .. also an outstanding backwards skater who uses his stick almost like an anchor to give him even more power and leverage .. his speed is generated through a series of rapid-fire crossovers .. very agile and quick off the mark in spite of a shorter stride .. powered by a well-balanced and strong lower body however he is not very built up top .. consequently, he can struggle at times along the boards defensively.

Our Take

Vande Sompel hails from the hockey hotbed of London, On. and was highly regarded coming of midget hockey (he was a first-round pick at the OHL’s priority selection draft).

One of the most unique players in this draft class, Vande Sompel is perhaps a bit undersized for a defenseman, but his ability to play anywhere in the lineup – on the wing, at centre, on the blue-line – makes him a serious odd ball prospect (in a good way). We haven’t seen a first-time draft eligible player demonstrate the sort of versatility that Vande Sompel has since Connor Crisp! 

Because of his position, high level of production, and short stature, there aren’t many PCS comparables for what Vande Sompel did this past season. Still, this pool does include such names as a variety of NHL defenseman like Dennis Wideman, James Wisniewski, Carlo Colaicovo and Ryan Wilson.

While PCS doesn’t love what Vande Sompel accomplished in his first-time draft eligible campaign, it’s clear that he’s a remarkable player. That so few people have managed to put together a comparable age-17 season is a testament to that.

Though Vande Sompel is undersized, there’s no doubting his two-way chops. A high-end skater, Vande Sompel was second among all Oshawa Generals players in estimated time-on-ice per game (behind only 19-year-old centre Cole Cassels). That Vande Sompel played such a key role for the best puck possession team in the OHL, and the best team in all of junior hockey, should help assuage any concerns about his size and defensive game.

Even so there just aren’t many NHL players that fit Vande Sompel’s overall profile, which makes him something of a high-risk pick. That high level of risk makes it a distinct possibility that Vande Sompel could be around well into the second day of the NHL draft. If he falls outside the top-50, he could be one of the biggest steals from the 2015 NHL Draft Class. 

  • TrueBlue

    really think he could end up being a massive steal too… i mean if he doesn’t succeed at D, you can move him up to forward, and i think he’d have a legitimate shot at succeeding there. from what i’ve seen, he strikes me as a guy who could be a dangerous, shifty forward, kind of like a shinkaruk/merkley.