NY Islanders sign pair of NCAA defenseman Aidan Fulp and Travis Mitchell
'Tis the season to sign NCAA free agents, and the NY Islanders inked a pair of them on Friday morning. On Thursday, we saw one NCAA hockey player's dream come true when former Harvard University forward Sean Farrell turned pro playing for the Montreal Canadiens and scored his first NHL goal on his first NHL shot. For the Islanders, defenseman Aidan Fulp, now a former defenseman from Western Michigan University, and Travis Mitchell, former captain, and defenseman from Cornell University, have each signed two-year, two-way entry-level contracts that kick in at the beginning of the 2023-24 season.
Fulp, 23, spent the last three seasons playing for the Broncos in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference and was a nominee for the NCHC Defenseman of the Year award. Across three seasons, the 6'3", 210-lb defenseman scored four goals and 34 assists in 94 games. As an undrafted free agent, Fulp spent last summer with the Pittsburgh Penguins in an attempt to earn his first NHL contract, however, returned to Western Michigan to continue his development. Last season, he served as the Broncos' alternate captain. Despite a decent offensive output, Fulp is known as a physical defensive defenseman.
Mitchell, also 23, played four seasons for Cornell and finished his last season earlier in March with the Big Red. Across his 95-game NCAA career, Mitchell scored 11 goals and 36 assists for 47 points from the blue line. The 6'3", 200-lb defenseman helped Cornell win the 2019-20 ECAC regular-season championship as a freshman.
Both Fup and Mitchell are not eligible to play with the Islanders or their American Hockey League affiliate Bridgeport Islanders until next season. However, there remains the possibility that Fulp and Mitchell can sign amateur tryout contracts to get on the ice and in the organization sooner than later.