2016-17 Team: Green Bay Gamblers (#20)
Date of Birth: Nov. 22, 1998
Place of Birth: Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Ht: 6’1” Wt: 201 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2017 first-year eligible
- THW Alternate Rankings: 4th (January)
- Future Considerations: 4th (Spring)
- ISS: 5th (April)
- McKeen’s Hockey: 4th (February)
- Bob McKenzie: 5th (Mid-season)
- Craig Button: 6th (March)
- Jeff Marek: 6th (March)
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.
NHL Draft Projection
With his well-rounded ability and the opportunity to fine-tune his game even further at the University of Minnesota, Mittelstadt is likely going to be a top-10 pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Seeing him go in the top-5 wouldn’t be surprising either, especially given the importance placed upon centers in the NHL. Realistically, seeing Mittelstadt drafted somewhere between fifth overall and eighth overall would be the most likely scenario.
“Has speed, quickness and agility and can use it to a great advantage on the attack or in tight areas to create space for himself and opportunities for his team. He projects as a Top 2 line offensive centre in the NHL.” – Craig Button, TSN
- Playmaking ability
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Can benefit from using his quick release more at the NHL level to open up passing lanes even more
- Fine-tuning his stickwork while backchecking
Casey Mittelstadt has all the makings of a legitimate top-six playmaking center. His well-rounded ability and focus on making others around him better make him a very likable prospect. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him center a team’s top-line in the future while breaking games open with his speed.
Risk – 2/5, Reward – 4.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 9/10, Defence – 7/10
Following his impressive 2016-17 season, Mittelstadt was named the winner of the 2017 Minnesota Mr. Hockey Award. Heading into the NHL Draft on a high note, Mittelstadt probably won’t be waiting long to put on an NHL jersey and officially start his NHL career.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for seven years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.