• email
  • Bookmark and Share

John Mitchell

John Mitchell has five goals and 11 points in 34 games this season. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/NHLI via Getty Images)

Zoom Image

John Mitchell has five goals and 11 points in 34 games this season. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/NHLI via Getty Images)

With Kevin Kennedy

My dad got me into hockey and signed me up at Rosedale arena in Waterloo, Ont. The first team I played on was called the L.A. Kings and we had the grey and black jerseys. I still call Rosedale Arena my favourite of all-time. You’d walk in there at 7 a.m. and you’d smell the hot chocolate from the snack bar and you’d be pumped up about your game coming up. My parents have video tapes of games when my grandparents were there watching, which is really cool.

One place I didn’t like playing as a kid was in Cambridge, Ont. I remember they didn’t have a Zamboni - they only had a tractor that pulled the Zamboni part behind it. The rink had a really low ceiling and it was absolutely freezing.

One of the most exciting experiences for me as a youth hockey player were out of town tournaments. I played in the Wayne Gretzky tournament in ‘AAA’ when I was in atom or peewee. I don’t think we won the tournament, but every game they awarded an MVP and out of the five games I think I won four MVPs - that was memorable. Another fun part was riding the bus and watching movies. When I was growing up I was really into the Mighty Duck movies. I liked Young Blood a little more than I liked Slapshot as a youngster.

I remember I really worked on my skating as a kid. Power skating was something I hated doing, but you had to do it if you wanted to become a better skater. That’s what I attribute my speed to, being able to battle through the power skating sessions for nine or 10 years.  No pucks, just my skating coach, Bridget Wolf, screaming at me. She was nice, but she was strict. Lacrosse was the summer sport I played every year, which helped with my stickhandling. All the guys on my team in Waterloo were on the same lacrosse team as well.

Growing up I always wore No. 7 in minor hockey because it was my favourite number as a kid. When I got older I switched to No. 93 because Dougie Gilmour was my favourite player.

More Stories

Before I Made It: Nate Guenin

With Kevin Kennedy The first hockey team I played for was the Beaver County Badgers back...

Travis Moen

With Kevin Kennedy I was born in Swift Current, but grew up and played my first...

David Steckel

With Kevin Kennedy My earliest hockey memories are very unique. I played my first...

Sean Couturier

With Kevin Kennedy I started skating in Milwaukee, Wisconsin when I was very young...
blog comments powered by Disqus

THN on Twitter