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Mitchell Callahan
Position: Right Wing
Shoots: Right
Vitals: 6’0” / 195 lbs.
Birthdate: August 17, 1991
Hometown: Whittier, California
Acquired: Detroit’s sixth choice (180th overall) in the 2009 draft
CSS Ranking: Not Ranked
Contract: 2014 via
RWC Says: Physical Winger


None Listed

  • Invited to WHL Kelowna’s camp on a tryout basis.
  • Surprised the Rockets and their cracked opening-night roster.
  • Used mostly in a third- and fourth-line role on a deep team (70-14-13-27, plus-11).
  • Piled up 188 penalty minutes, third in the WHL.
  • Fought 20 times, according to, tied for second in the WHL.
  • Played energy role in helping Kelowna win WHL title (22-1-3-4-43).
  • Helped Kelowna to runner-up finish at Memorial Cup (4-0-1-1-2).
  • Not ranked by Central Scouting but picked in the sixth round (180th overall) by Detroit.
  • Returned to Kelowna for a second WHL season and took big step forward offensively (72-20-27-47).
  • Placed ninth in penalty minutes in the WHL with 165.
  • Finished tied for fourth in WHL fighting majors with 19 (three-way tie for first at 20).
  • Put up good numbers in WHL playoffs (12-2-4-6).
  • Signed three-year entry-level deal with Red Wings at season’s end.
  • Returned to Kelowna for a third WHL season and posted career-best numbers (62-23-31-54, plus-4).
  • Roughly halved his fighting majors (9) and penalty minutes (87) from previous season.
  • Averaged a point-per-game for most of season but slowed in final two months (17-4-4-8).
  • Won a bronze medal with the United States at the WJC (6-1-0-1, minus-1, 13 shots).
  • Produced well in two playoff rounds (10-5-4-9).
  • Cracked Grand Rapids lineup as AHL rookie and played depth role (48-6-3-9, minus-3, 58 shots).
  • Led Grand Rapids with 14 fights and tied for 16th in AHL, according to
  • Healthy scratch early in season before becoming regular; missed final 13 games with shoulder injury.
  • Returned to Grand Rapids for his sophomore AHL season.
  • Didn’t make a good impression on new head coach Jeff Blashill at first, but quickly became a regular.
  • Produced well in grind-line type role (71-11-9-20, 93 PIM, minus-3, 136 shots).
  • Cut his fighting majors from rookie season from 14 to just five.
  • Played key role to help Griffins win Calder Cup (24-6-5-11, plus-1, 33 shots).
  • Made particular impact with his surprising offense in final two rounds (13-5-5-10).
  • Appeared in two NHL pre-season games (2-1-0-1, plus-1, three shots, 15 PIM, 6:21 ATOI).
  • Returned to Grand Rapids before opening day for his third AHL season.
  • Finished fourth in Griffins scoring despite minimal power-play time (70-26-18-44).
  • Led team in plus-minus and tied for ninth in AHL at plus-23.
  • Finished second on team and T18th in AHL in goals (26) and 25th in AHL in shots (194).
  • Trimmed his penalty minutes to career-low 51 and fighting majors to just one.
  • Recalled to to play one game, his NHL debut, on March 25 (9:01 TOI).
  • Broke jaw, lost 10 teeth and had nine stitches from Ryan Sproul’s slap shot on April 2.
  • Facial injuries from incident cost him remainder of regular season.
  • Returned from his horrific injuries in third game of playoffs (8-1-4-5, minus-5, 21 shots).

“He’s a high-energy, high-impact player. He finishes all of his checks, he’s fearless and he’ll take on anybody. You hope he’s going to be one of those guys who gets in on the forecheck and who causes havoc on defensemen.” — Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill (June 2009) … “He’s after you all the time, under everybody’s skin, he’s yappin’ at you and he’s doing all the things that bother everybody. He’s an agitator.” — Kelowna Rockets general manager Bruce Hamilton (June 2009) … “He’s something we don’t have. We’re not a tough, robust team, and he brings in that agitator. He’s in your face, he’s going to fight anybody, one of those fan favorite type of players.” — Nill (July 2010, … “Mitch is the type of player you win with. He’s very, very strong on the puck, he wins puck battles, he goes to the net hard, he’s got good hands, he’s physical, he’s an agitator and he’ll fight when needed.” — Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill (February 2013) … “He’s a guy who isn’t the fastest, isn’t the biggest, but yet he knows how to play to win hockey games. His strength is very good. He’s a guy who’s been a very good penalty-killer for us. He’s a winning type of hockey player because he wins puck battles, plays good defense and goes to the net and the hard areas well.” — Blashill (February 2014) … “He’s a tough kid, seems to know how to play, he’s a good penalty-killer.” — Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock (March 2014,

Plays a robust, tenacious physical game … Brings it every shift with infectious energy, never taking a shift off … Yaps at everyone, finishes every check and is willing to fight bigger opponents … Stands up for his teammates and is “pound for pound” a good fighter … Relentless on the forecheck … Hustle and fearlessness make him a terrific penalty killer … Impressive strength for his size and can win puck battles against bigger opponents … Keeps his offensive game simple, putting the puck on net at every opportunity … Drives hard to the net, screens opposition goaltenders and positions himself well for rebounds, tips and tap-ins … Works hard and doesn’t take games off … Shows up for big games and has a knack for scoring timely goals … His gritty style has made him a fan favorite at every level.

Despite his physical style, he isn’t particularly big … Typical NHL grinders and agitators are bigger, but players such as Jordin Tootoo and Matt Cooke have made it work … Skating is average and may prevent him from making the type of physical impact that is necessary for him to succeed at the NHL level.

Callahan has done everything possible to put himself in the Red Wings’ good graces, putting pucks in the net for Grand Rapids and establishing himself as an invaluable AHL player. If he makes it, it will be as a fourth-line winger. He’ll battle a handful of prospects for whatever forward jobs the Red Wings have available in 2014-15. If he doesn’t make it, he’ll require waivers to be sent to the AHL.

Player statistics powered by

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2007-2008 Los Angeles Jr. Kings U18 Midget 52 32 37 69 62 |          
 2008-2009 Kelowna Rockets WHL 70 14 13 27 188 | Playoffs 22 1 3 4 43 
  Kelowna Rockets M-Cup 4 0 1 1 2 |          
 2009-2010 Kelowna Rockets WHL 72 20 27 47 165 | Playoffs 12 2 4 6 10 
 2010-2011 Kelowna Rockets WHL 62 23 31 54 87 | Playoffs 10 5 4 9 17 
  USA U20 WJC-20 6 1 0 1 2 |          
 2011-2012 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 48 6 3 9 103 |          
 2012-2013 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 71 11 9 20 93 | Playoffs 24 6 5 11 33 
 2013-2014 Detroit Red Wings NHL 1 0 0 0 0 |          
  Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 70 26 18 44 51 | Playoffs 8 1 4 5
 2014-2015 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 13 5 3 8 8 |          

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