Clarkson’s Mitchell Turns Pro

Clarkson defenseman Willie Mitchell, the 1997-98 ECAC co-Rookie of the Year and a 1998-99 All-America, has opted to give up his remaining two years of collegiate eligibility, signing with the National Hockey League’s New Jersey Devils.

After a rookie season in which he compiled nine goals and 26 points, the 6-foot-3, 215-pounder — an eighth-round 1996 draft pick of the Devils — led all Golden Knight defensemen with 29 points (10-19) and a plus-13 rating in 34 games over the 1998-99 season.

His slap shot goal from center ice gave Clarkson a win over Princeton in the closing seconds of last season’s ECAC Tournament semifinal in Lake Placid, N.Y.

The native of McNeill, B.C., went on to be named MVP of the ECAC tournament, first-team All-ECAC and second-team Titan East All-America.