To say Mitch Chaffee has been a pleasing shock for the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League this season can be placing it flippantly.
The 24-year-old winger presently leads the minor-league squad with 22 objectives in 45 video games. He additionally has 15 assists to determine himself a top-tier contributor.
Not unhealthy for a child who solely had two objectives final season.
That kind of offensive manufacturing has put Chaffee on the precipice of his NHL debut. Because of Wild veteran Marcus Foligno testing constructive for COVID this week, coupled with some accidents up entrance, Chaffee was set to be within the lineup Tuesday night time when the Wild tackle the Canadiens at Bell Centre in Montreal.
“You type of dream of this present day,” Chaffee advised reporters after morning skate Tuesday in Montreal. “Seeking to go on the market and make a distinction.”
Initially signed by the Wild as an undrafted free agent out of the College of Massachusetts on March 24, 2020, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Chaffee has developed effectively within the minors.
Requested about his journey to the NHL, Chaffee credited his AHL teammates. In that sense, it in all probability helps that Chaffee was penciled in to play alongside Connor Dewar and reverse Brandon Duhaime in his NHL debut. They had been all teammates with the Iowa Wild final season.
The truth that Chaffee is making his NHL debut in Montreal — which many thought of to be the Mecca of the game — just isn’t misplaced on him. If anybody understands custom, it’s Chaffee, who grew up in Michigan on the outskirts of Detroit.
“It’s Hockeytown so there’s a variety of custom there,” Chaffee stated. “I at all times idolized the Crimson Wings. I cherished (Henrik) Zetterberg and (Pavel) Datsyuk and all these gamers. They had been enjoyable to observe.”
Although it’s a fairly fast flight from Detroit to Montreal, as a result of every part occurred so shortly this week, Chaffee wasn’t anticipating any relations in attendance for Tuesday’s sport. He’s assured everybody again residence will likely be watching on tv.
As a lot as he hoped to placed on a present in his NHL debut, Chaffee is aware of an important factor is staying inside himself.
That’s what received him right here. That’s what’s going to preserve him right here.
“You’ve received to go on the market and consider it as one other hockey sport,” Chaffee stated. “Whether or not I’m in Iowa or Minnesota, if I’m going on the market and play my sport, it ought to all go effectively.”