With the Eighth Pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft the Buffalo Sabres Have Selected Casey Mittelstadt From the Green Bay Gamblers in the USHL.
About Casey Mittelstadt
There were some concerns about Mittelstadt heading into the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. His skill is unparalleled and his ability is unquestioned. The issues circle around the fact that Mittelstadt did what he did against high school talent coupled with his very poor showing at the NHL Combine. Still, anyone who’s seen Mittelstadt play, knows exactly how good of a player he is. Despite the concerns, Mittelstadt could prove to be one of the very best players taken in the draft. At 6 foot 1 and 201 pounds, Mittelstadt has ideal NHL size for a center. With 13 goals and 30 points in 24 games last season with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL as well as 21 goals and 64 points in 25 games with Eden Praire High of the USHS, point production is no issue for Mittelstadt.
— NHL (@NHL) June 24, 2017
THW Prospect Profile Excerpt:
Casey Mittelstadt is an offensively gifted center that was ranked in in the top-6 of all draft rankings by the midpoint of the season and later. With a high hockey-IQ, good vision, solid hands and speed to back it all up, Mittelstadt enters the 2017 NHL draft as one of the top North American prospects to keep an eye on. In 24 games with the Green Bay Gamblers in 2016-17, Mittelstadt scoring 13 goals and 30 points while only receiving two penalty minutes.
Mittelstadt has legitimate NHL size at 6 foot 1 and 201 pounds. While he won’t throw his body around like some of the bigger prospects tend to do, Mittelstadt is more than capable of holding is own when skating down the ice with his north-south style of play. With a tremendous passing ability coupled with his ability to score goals, Mittelstadt has the makings of a top playmaking center at the next level.
Committed to joining the University of Minnesota, Mittelstadt won’t be joining the NHL right out of the draft. Still, any team that has scouted him will be more than willing to wait given the potential that he has shown in the USHL. For Mittelstadt, it all starts with his speed. Whether it’s breaking through the neutral zone, forechecking to pressure opposing defenders or backchecking to break up a play, Mittelstadt’s strong and quick strides set him apart. While his passing is one of his more highly-lauded traits, Mittelstadt’s quick release allows him to finish plays himself and keep opposing teams on edge at all times. Known for not taking a shift off, Mittelstadt’s drive to succeed will help him play for whichever NHL team takes him in the draft.
How This Affects the Buffalo Sabres’ Plans
The Buffalo Sabres are in an interesting situation. With a new general manager and a new head coach in place as well as a young core that featured Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart, Rasmus Ristolainen and Ryan O’Reilly, Mittelstadt will be joining a tremendous group once he makes the jump to the NHL. Committed to play with the University of Minnesota next season, Mittelstadt will have the chance to prove what he can do at the collegiate level to prove the Sabres right for taking him so high in the draft.