The Washington Times - September 13, 2011, 01:37PM

Garrett Mitchell grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan in Western Canada and played junior hockey there, so he was able to enjoy the comforts of home life. Then there was two years ago when he had a stint with the Hershey Bears and ran into a problem.

“I didn’t know how to do laundry,” he said sheepishly.

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That problem is solved now – and he can cook – so as Mitchell is expected to return to Hershey in his first professional season he has other parts of life and hockey to work on.

“I think the biggest thing is just trying to understand everything that they’re trying to get out of us,” he said. “That’s going to help me out as a player going into Hershey …. For myself as a player, you want to understand the systems, you want to try not to make the mistakes in the games.”

This is Mitchell’s third rookie camp, so he’s considered a veteran even though he just turned 20 on Sept. 2. He’s very used to how coach Bruce Boudreau and his staff work, and the familiarity has led to something else with Mitchell.

“I see it a lot in Garrett; he’s always been the young, energetic guy, but he’s sort of a confident, energetic guy,” Boudreau said. “The first two years we had heard all about this tough, feisty young kid from Saskatchewan, and you hadn’t seen it, but he showed it more and he’s getting bigger.”

Showing more is a result of listening to what the coaches are telling Mitchell – and being an inquisitive young player.

“He asks questions. But it’s not like the student that asks questions because he wants the teacher to think he’s interested – he asks questions to learn, and he gets it,” Boudreau said. “And he takes the answers and he applies them to the next drill. It’s not hard to like a person like that.”