2015 NHL Draft Profiles: Mitchell Vande Sompel

Mitchell Vande Sompel – 5’10, 183-pound left-shot defenceman from the Oshawa Generals (OHL)

Mitchell Vande Sompel Rankings

  • #74 by ISS Hockey
  • #41 by Future Considerations
  • #34 by NHL Central Scouting
  • #63 by Bob McKenzie

Mitchell Vande Sompel’s Scouting Report provided by Brock Otten of OHL Prospects.

Mitchell Vande Sompel Strengths

  • It’s the offensive aspect of his game which is the highlight. His skating is fantastic and it allows him to start the breakout as quick as anyone not named Tony DeAngelo (in the OHL).
  • He doesn’t need many strides to hit full speed, and as such he’s a very difficult player to hem in his own zone.
  • Vande Sompel is also aggressive offensively, showing little fear in attacking across the opposing blue line.
  • As a power play QB, he makes quick and smart decisions on the point and is a large part of why Oshawa’s power play was fourth best in the league this year.
  • His awareness defensively has improved, too, which is promising considering he hasn’t been playing defence all that long.
  • Interestingly enough, Vande Sompel excels as a forward on the penalty kill, where he uses his speed and tenacity to break up plays.

Mitchell Vande Sompel Criticisms

  • The biggest improvements have and need to continue to come at the defensive end. Vande Sompel’s certainly not a big guy (5’10), but he plays a lot bigger than that. He’s shown a very high compete level this year, especially in the corners. The size and strength factor will nonetheless hurt him at the NHL draft. He’s still far from a perfect defensive player, but the progression is very promising and I think he’s more than just an offensive guy.
  • McKeen’s Draft Guide (buy here): Lacks upper body strength and struggles along the boards and in defensive situations against bigger players. His defensive zone awareness and overall play needs work; finding himself on the wrong side of puck carriers at times.

The Verdict

  • Vande Sompel was very impressive as an OHL rookie last year and managed to improve even more this year. The size factor will hurt him at the NHL draft, but I think teams will admire his courage on the ice and appreciate his potential enough for him to not slip too far down the board.

Mitchell Vande Sompel Career Notes

  • Grew up in London, Ontario and played bantam and minor midget for the Jr. Knights, captaining the minor midget Jr. Knights in 2012-13.
  • Drafted #14 overall by Oshawa Generals in the 2013 OHL Priority Draft.
  • Named to the OHL First All-Rookie Team in 2013-14.
  • 2014 Ivan Hilika Gold Medalist for Team Canada.
  • 2015 OHL and Memorial Cup champion with the Oshawa Generals.
  • Points per game (1.09) was third among OHL defencemen and tops among 2015 Draft-eligible defencemen.
  • Finished second among OHL defencemen in even strength points per 60 minutes with 2.54, behind only Anthony DeAngelo.

Mitchell Vande Sompel Interview

Courtesy of The Pipeline Show:

On a successful year of championships and production:
It has been a long year for me, but a successful one all around. Starting off with the gold medal win at the U18s and then finishing off with the Mem Cup. A long year and a stressful one, but at the same time it’s been an unreal experience.

I had expectations of myself throughout the year and for the most part I fulfilled them. You look back and there’s some times when you wish you had done some things, but that’s life and that’s hockey, and you’ve got to live with it. Overall, a pretty good year for me I thought. It’s a stepping stone.

On his growth as a player:
I think I’ve grown a lot as a player. At the start, when I came into the league, I was more just the offensive guy, and I was a bit smaller. There’s a lot of big guys you need to learn how to handle. Over the course of the year, playing with guys like Hunter Smith and Michael McCarron, you learn how to play against those big guys. That’s one of the biggest things I’ve evolved with over the year.

On his size:
You’ve got to work with what you’ve had and make the most of it. I know I’m not the tallest guy, so I have to use what I have to my ability. That’s my core strength and my lower body, and then speed.

On describing himself as a player:
I’m an offensive defenceman. I move pucks up the ice. I like to jump in the rush.  I play up front on the penalty kill. I’ve quarterbacked a powerplay. I like to skate, and move pucks.

On his favourite team:
My favourite team growing up was the Leafs, I’m from London so it’s close to home. I had the opportunity to meet with them, so that was pretty awesome for me.

There’s a lot of new faces there; Mark Hunter, I’ve known him growing up and he’s been around the rinks. I know him slightly. It’s cool to meet all those guys and see them in person and be able to talk to them.

On comparables:
Ryan Ellis is an unbelievable defender, he was great in Windsor when he had his time there and he won two Memorial Cups. He’s a guy I like to watch. Eventually you want to be a guy like him, or Brodie, all these small guys who are doing their thing in the NHL and really defying the odds against anyone who never believed in them.

Mitchell Vande Sompel: Experts Take

Craig Button (@CraigJButton) speaking about Mitchell Vande Sompel on The Pipeline Show:
[I like] just about everything. Interesting enough, DJ Smith has him killing penalties up front. I think back to players like Phil Housley, who played defence and Scotty Bowman used him up front. I think of Mark Howe, who played up front and played back. What I see in Mitchell Vande Sompel is a real versatile player. Excellent skater, and he uses that skating in penalty killing situations up front. He can pressure, he can disrupt. Because he’s so smart, he understands the patterns that are starting to develop. When you’re a defenceman and you’re trying to survey the entire ice, and vision is such a big part of being able to make plays, you use it in the reverse way when you’re killing penalties. I think he recognizes those patterns. Really, really effective. One of the things about players that are really good skaters — we always think they have to pull away, they have to create all this separation. A lot of the times, because you’re such a good skater – and you see this at times with the very best skating defencemen – when they feel pressure they are comfortable with that pressure, because they’re confident in their abilities to pull away. You see a player like Mitchell Vande Sompel, he’s under pressure and you think, “okay, he needs to pull away,” but he’s going to pull away on his terms, and he’s going to pull away when he sees a really good play that can be made. That confidence, that poise; the poise under pressure and the confidence you’re going to be able to beat it, I think at the NHL level it’s a necessary element. Mitchell Vandel Sompel has that. He can make a pass forehand or backhand, he can make it through traffic, he can make a play on the move. He’s always attacking, he’s always thinking about how to break down defences. I think that he is a terrific defenceman that is really well rounded and exceptionally competitive.

Mitchell Vande Sompel Stats

London Jr. Knights Gold Min MdgtAHMMPL10000|Playoffs30330
2012-13London Jr. Knights Gold Min MdgtÊAHMMPL239233216|Playoffs14810184
London Jr. Knights Midget AAAAHMPL000000|Playoffs10000
London NationalsGOJHL20110|
2013-14Oshawa GeneralsOHL4751520183|Playoffs1212303
Canada Ontario U17WHC-1751124|
2014-15Oshawa GeneralsOHL581251633831|Playoffs1639122-10

Mitchell Vande Sompel Video

Mitchell Vande Sompel – Shift by Shift:

Mitchell Vande Sompel – Highlights: