The Ducks gave Mark Mitera five years. Even that wasn’t enough time to save his status as a first-round bust.
Mitera’s time in the organization ended Friday, when he was shipped to the Montreal Canadiens for defenseman Mathieu Carle.
Carle has played in three NHL games in four pro seasons, all in the Canadiens organization. Coincidentally, the 23-year-old was taken in the same 2006 draft class (second round, 53rd overall) as Mitera (first round, 19th overall).
Carle spent all of last season with the Hamilton Bulldogs, the Canadiens’ AHL affiliate, leading all Bulldogs blueliners with 11 goals. By comparison, Nathan Paetsch led an underperforming group of Syracuse Crunch defensemen with eight goals in just 34 games after arriving in a midseason trade.
Mitera, 23, was part of that young Syracuse blue line, playing 71 games and leading the group with 22 points. In his first full season at the AHL level, he also scored six goals and collected 50 penalty minutes.
Yet even after working his way up from the ECHL, Mitera never lived up to expectations. For that Brian Burke deserves just as much credit for reaching to draft the former University of Michigan defenseman ahead of Claude Giroux, Milan Lucic, Chris Stewart, Brad Marchand and Cal Clutterback, to name just a few.