2015 NHL Draft Prospect Profile #45 - Mitch Vande Sompel
A former forward who was converted to defense, Vande Sompel brings speed, skill, and a name that can only be said three times fast by professional sports announcers.
Mitch Vande Sompel
Current Team: Oshawa Generals, OHL
Date of Birth: February 11th, 1997
Place of Birth: London, ON (Canada)
Weight: 183 lbs.
Vande Sompel started his career as a forward, and the Generals have moved him up from time to time because of his skill carrying the puck and making plays, but even when on D he's a fantastic puck mover who can slice through opponents thanks to his excellent skating.
Despite being a little on the small side, he's got a nasty shot and a quick release, and has really stepped up his game in his second season in the O.
If Vande Sompel was two or three inches taller, I would rank him as a sure first round pick, however that size can be a detriment to defencemen at the NHL level and raises some question marks. If he can overcome it, he has the potential to be a solid second pairing defenceman who adds offence from the back end and can be a major weapon on the powerplay. Vande Sompel's game is similar to former Devils and Red Wings defenceman Brian Rafalski, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on talent. -Last Word On Sports
Extremely gifted on his skates and fortunate to own an innate ability to read the ice, anticipating gaps in coverage and open seams, Vande Sompel uses his gift to lead the attack from the blue line. A pure puck mover in every sense of the word, Vande Sompel thrives with the puck on his stick quickly transitioning it up ice with ease. Neither big nor strong, Vande Sompel does struggle with the rigours of defending his own zone but his positional sense and overall anticipation provides him with the necessary tools to develop into a respectable defenseman once that strength and battle-tested hunger is instilled. -Dobber Hockey
A Good Fit In Columbus?
While I doubt Vande Sompel is at the top of Columbus' board, I suspect they've been getting a look at him when scouting the O, particularly with Oshawa's performance in the Memorial Cup this year. With his skills on offense, he'd be a nice prospect to develop and pair with a guy like Dillon Heatherington down the road, but the one thing that concerns me a bit is the fact that Vande Sompel has already had to deal with two concussions in his young career - that's something that could easily impact him going forward, and perhaps even stop his NHL career before it ever begins. If the Jackets decide to hold on to all three of their picks in the second round, though, he'd be a fairly "safe risk" to take a flyer on, and see how he develops.