Willie Mitchell Talks Drew Doughty…And The More Talented Jack Johnson?

Fan 590 talked with Willie Mitchell. Click on the link in the preceding sentence. Some interesting comments about Jack Johnson, Drew Doughty, Mike Richards, concussions and fishing. Fast forward to the 46:07 of the podcast. That is where the Mitchell interview starts.

Some highlights:

Drew Doughty’s first 4 strides are crazy. He has a tremendous passion for the game.

Jack Johnson’s game is evolving and he may be more talented than Drew Doughty. Jack Johnson’s skating and skill comparable to Scott Niedermayer [please tweet @lakingscourt and ask Meg what time the Jihad will start].

Trevor Lewis reminds him of a young Alex Burrows.

Loves the Mike Richards trade.

Talks about head injuries, concussions and is happy there is more awareness to the issue.

Hey Willie…take me fishing.

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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11 replies

  1. I agree with Mitchell.

    Johnson has all of the tools/skill level to be an elite defenseman, but not the “vision” to do it. He just has that little mental hesitation that puts him slightly behind the play, both defensively and offensively. There is a reason that Jack has been used in the shootouts and Doughty has not. It has to do with pure skill level.

    If that light bulb ever illuminates for Johnson, he has the potential to be another #1 defenseman for the Kings. Would make an awesome top pair.

    If Voynov can fulfill his potential to be that #3 PMD to pair with Scuderi next season, that would free up Jack to become that #1 PMD to pair with Doughty That would give the Kings 3 righties and 3 lefties to fill out their pairs.


    With Forbort and Deslauriers challenging Martinez/Greene for that bottom pairing in 2-3 years.

  2. … I think Mitchell’s just trying to elevate Jack’s (and Trevor’s) level of confidence. I don’t think he really believes Johnson to be more talented than Doughty; that would be pretty silly, but whatever. And of course, saying he loves the Richards trade is a no-brainer. He’s not gonna say he dislikes it while he’s still with this team.

  3. Sydor25,

    I am interested in your remarks about Johnson. The shootout issue is clear enough, and I have wondered why that skill doesn’t seem to fully translate to regular-speed play. Are there characteristic moments – say, certain transitions – in which you notice the hesitation? Is it
    a matter of anticipation of the play? You mention both offense and defense as being affected.
    Care to elaborate? – I’d like to follow his play at a game to catch this. Thanks.

  4. I agree with Willie here as to how talented JJ is. Just waiting for that moment for him to really have a break through yr. If you were to strip each player down and were to just scout them doing drills alone, I think JJ would rank higher than drew. Before you guys jump down my throat, I’m not saying he is a better player than Drew. All I’m saying is, if you were to scout each player without knowing who they were, I think JJ would do better. He has a better shot, better hands and is a better skater. Drew has more of that “it factor” (gayest term ever but oh well) that can’t be taught. When its all said and done, both guys will be premier NHL defensemen for yrs to come.

  5. He does have great talent…..but lacks any type of anticipation, in which Doughty is unbelievable. I coach mites and it’s amazing how some kids have just a sense of where they need to be on the ice.

  6. I think he loses some of his vision when he handles the puck in traffic (that’s how I felt when I’d get in traffic). Probably goes a bit tunnel-visioned and has a hard time handling the pick, maneuvering, and letting his eyes scan elsewhere. Probably cuz he’s going so fast and is a bit tensed up. It seems like drew doughty can keep his head up better and sees everything clearer and slower.

    But drew is more sound defensively too so I dunno maybe jack is just not on autopilot on most situations and has to think too much.

  7. Two lunches in a row with nothing to read… im a sad panda

  8. I’ve taken some criticism for sticking up for Jack in the past, and maybe seeing the complaints about his playing as hyperbole ( or mass hysteria). I personally don’t look at Mitchell’s comments as some kind of deflection, or ego boost.

    I think he’s a pretty strait forward guy, with enough experience (playing with both players) to know what he’s talking about, and is speaking his mind, and calling it as he see’s it.

    • … Unless you don’t consider hockey sense to be a hockey skill – which would be a pretty curious decision at that – I’m wondering how someone can arrive at the conclusion that Johnson is the more talented player.

      Mitchell’s just bullshitting us.

      • Are you saying you know better than Mitchell?

        • … This is boring. What I actually said was …

          Mitchell’s just bullshitting us.

          And, he is.

          If you agree that Johnson’s more talented than a player who’s clearly better than him, then good for you. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, and it can’t be quantified or defended, but have fun with it.


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