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Buffalo Sabres Top 25 Under 25, #3: Casey Mittelstadt

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NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Die By The Blade community. six writers and 718 readers ranked players under the age of 25 as of July 1, 2018 in the Buffalo Sabres organization. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production against future projection to rank each player. Now, we’ll count down each of the 25 players ranked.

We have hit the three most highly regarded Sabres players in our top 25 uncer 25 countdown. At this point, the hype train has not only left the station, it has hit full speed and is cruising steadily toward its final destination: the Stanley Cup Final.

Are we getting ahead of ourselves? Maybe. But that’s what fandom is for right? Some healthy optimism makes for a great start to a season, and a good opening for this look out our number three prospect, forward Casey Mittelstadt.

Mittelstadt is a two-time international champion. In his 14 appearances between the U18 and U20 competitions, the powerful frontliner has 20 points, and scored at a 1.52 points per game clip in the 2018 tournament.

This came in the middle of his freshman season at Minnesota, in which he saw him net 30 points in 34 games. He was second on the team in overall points, second in goals, second in goals per game, and first in points per game. As a freshman. The year was chock full of highlights like these:

Mittelstadt has decided to forgo the remainder of his NCAA career and made the jump to the NHL for a handful of games as Buffalo’s campaign wound down. He had five points in his six games. It was a high-scoring set of matchups for the Sabres, but only the team’s most highly regarded veterans - players like Jack Eichel, Ryan O’Reilly, and Sam Reinhart - had that kind of production in that same period of time.

It could mean nothing, but it could mean everything for the upcoming season. If you’re hesitant to put much stock in that performance, that’s certainly a healthy perspective. Wouldn’t it be great, though, if his six NHL games were indicative of the type of consistent scoring we’ve been missing here in Buffalo?

Mittelstadt will get his chance to prove himself this year, and probably right out of the gate. The O’Reilly trade opened a huge causeway for the young forward, and there is no reason to believe he won’t take advantage; he’s spent the last two years making the most of every situation he’s found himself in.

#25 Sean Malone

#24 Brandon Hickey

#23 Marcus Davidsson

#22 Danny O’Regan

#21 Will Borgen

#20 Mattias Samuelsson

#19 Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen

#18 Justin Bailey

#17 C.J. Smith

#16 Nick Baptiste

#15 Zemgus Girgensons

#14 Lawrence Pilut

#13 Victor Olofsson

#12 Rasmus Asplund

#11 Alex Nylander

#10 Tage Thompson

#9 Jake McCabe

#8 Evan Rodrigues

#7 Brendan Guhle

#6 Linus Ullmark

#5 Rasmus Ristolainen

#4 Sam Reinhart