The Buffalo Sabres announced this morning they’ve signed 2017 eighth overall pick Casey Mittelstadt to a three-year entry-level contract. The 19-year-old forward will report to the Sabres by the end of the week according to TSN insider Bob McKenzie.
Mittelstadt had 11 goals and 30 points in 34 games with the University of Minnesota this season. He also was number Most Valuable Player at the 2018 World Junior Championships in Buffalo just a few months ago.
He’ll forgo his remaining three years of college eligibility to join the Sabres organization now. Since he’ll be reporting to the Sabres and not Rochester, he’ll burn off the first year of his contract this season.
First-round pick.— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) March 26, 2018
Minnesota's Mr. Hockey.
Casey Mittelstadt is officially a Buffalo Sabre. ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/IK0LJvSONC
It can be assumed part of the negotiation for Mittelstadt to sign was to get NHL playing time this season, which is why he will not report to the AHL like Will Borgen did yesterday.
This will give Sabres fans something to watch over the next two weeks. After tonight’s game at the Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo are back in action Thursday at home against the Detroit Red Wings and Saturday night in Nashville against the Predators.
UPDATE: HERE ARE THE TWEETS FROM BOB MCKENZIE THAT DISCUSS HIS STATUS WITH RFA AND EXPANSION
Mittelstadt is expected to sign his contract tomorrow and join Sabres’ NHL roster immediately after that. Could play for BUF as early as Thursday and finish balance of regular season with Sabres. May also be a consideration for Team USA at the World Championship.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 26, 2018
When his entry-level contract expires in 2020, he won’t be a full RFA. That is, like Johnny Gaudreau and Jaden Schwartz, amongst others, who graduated entry-level with limited experience, he won’t be able to receive an offer sheet and has no salary arb rights etc.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 26, 2018