Mitch Wheaton

Aaron Vickers

Wheaton is a big, lumbering defensive minded defenseman. He has decent speed but has the typical heavy feet for a guy possessing his size. There is room for further refinement and improvement. He does not carry the puck up ice much instead preferring to shoot a pass up to his forward at his own blue line having them carry it while he trails the play. When he does have the puck on his stick — typically deep in his own zone or in the neutral zone — he shows good composure and makes the safe simple plays effectively. He will never be an Erik Karlsson-type puck carrier but does have a heavy shot that needs to work on his wind-up and accuracy. He uses his size well and is not afraid to lay a big hit. He plays a good honest physical game. He is physically stronger than most of his opponents, effectively eliminates attackers from the play and makes the night difficult for onrushing forwards without doing anything that put any player in exceptional risk. He didn’t give anything away for free but he does not checking anyone in the back or look to hurt anyone either. He keeps an active stick and his head on a swivel and is not overly aggressive in the defensive zone, instead allowing the play to develop and then he puts himself in a conservative position to break it up. He protects the front of the net. Has some trouble with faster forwards as his coordination and feet just cannot match up well enough at this time. (May 2013)