This season: 57 games, 5 goals, 5 assists, 21 penalty minutes, 21:49 average ice time.
The good: The Kings took something of a risk last summer when they signed Mitchell — who was coming off a long-term concussion — to a two-year contract. Mitchell largely validated the Kings’ trust. As their oldest defenseman — at the still-young age of 33 — Mitchell proved to be an ultra-steady partner for both of the Kings’ top young defensemen, Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson. Mitchell’s excellent stick-work broke up countless scoring opportunities by opponents and he was exceedingly valuable on the penalty kill.
The bad: Mitchell’s head was fine this season — he had no recurrence of concussion symptoms — but he still missed 25 games because of injury. Given that Mitchell regularly played 68-plus games before the concussion, it’s not totally fair to tag him with the “injury prone” label, but until he can make it through the bulk of a season without a couple injuries, he’s still going to hear those whispers.
Going forward: Other teams might have been reluctant to offer Mitchell that second year when he was a free agent last summer. The Kings are glad they did. Mitchell doesn’t come cheap — he will make $3.4 million again next season — but as long as he can stay relatively healthy, continue his outstanding penalty-kill work and serve as a solid role model to players such as Doughty, Johnson and Alec Martinez, both on and off the ice, the Kings will get their money’s worth.