Mittelstadt, who was named Minnesota’s “Mr. Hockey” this year as the state’s best high school hockey player before moving to the USHL, is a playmaking, two-way center who skates like the wind despite not being able to do a pull-up and performing terribly at the NHL Combine.
Casey Mittelstadt NHL draft scouting report | SB Nation 2017 N...
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But strength is not his game, at just 18 years old, Mittelstadt’s game is more about speed, skill, hockey sense,stick handling, and a strong compete level on every shift. And if you’re worried about his strength, he’ll get a chance to develop and compete against older players next year at the University of Minnesota.
“We just think the speed that he plays at, the skill that he has, he’s just such a dynamic player,” said GM Jason Botterill in an interview after the pick. GMBOT noted that his skillset would fit in well with Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart, and we agree.
Mittelstadt was ranked 3rd among North American skater by NHL Central Scouting, and the left-handed shot joins Jack Eichel as a potential future American hockey star. He can play both center and left wing, and is an elite transition player with a killer offensive instinct.
He might take a bit of time to get the NHL, as the 18-year old will be starting his freshman year at the University of Minnesota next fall, but if there’s any prospect worth waiting for, it’s a player like Mittelstadt.
Here’s some scouting reports on the Sabres newest draftee:
An electric offensive presence on the ice, Casey Mittelstadt brings the complete package of speed, skill, and hockey sense. He competes hard with every shift, and has the dynamic puck skills to keep up with his creativity, which is a hallmark of his game. His awareness is all-encompassing, and he never puts his teammates in positions where their time and space will be bottlenecked. Bigger players don't phase him, as he thinks the game analytically and will find chinks in the opposition's armor on the fly. As a result, Mittelstadt is often seen forcing more complicated plays that the opposition won't be able to read in time. On top of all this, he can play a north-south game, and his transition game is already at an elite level. He's a complete player with the predatory instincts necessary to succeed as a consistent and, perhaps, dominant point producer at the next level. - Elite Prospects
A smart, quick and highly skilled center…has a tremendous first-step jump, change of pace and ability to make defenders miss…though not the biggest or strongest player on the ice, he finds success in loose puck battles by using his smarts and insane ability to shield the puck from defenders…never takes a shift off, and has added noticeable muscle and speed this season…will finish chances with a quick release on a wrister or powerful snap shot…puck-handling skills are excellent and he is able to create scoring chances in almost all of his offensive-zone shifts using his great vision and understanding of the game...aware of his defensive responsibility and backchecks hard to cover…sets up scoring chances using accurate, hard passes…always in the action and loves being the go-to guy…can beat defenders or gain the zone by utilizing this hands, feet or brain…a potential future top-line, two-way guy. - Future Considerations
Mittelstadt has shown himself to be a surefire top-five talent in this class, and in the same breath as Gabe Vilardi behind the big two of Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick. His ability to dictate and drive play through the middle of the ice to high-danger areas makes him a fascinating prospect. After a year or two of fine-tuning his game with the University of Minnesota, don’t be surprised if he steps into the NHL as an impact first-year player. - SBNation
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