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2023 Player Report Card: Casey Mittelstadt

Total Season Stats: 15-44-59 in 82 games played

Age: 24

Contract Status: Signed through 2023-24, $2.5 million AAV, RFA at the end of next season

Casey Mittelstadt is another Buffalo forward that had a solid finish this season. No. 37 enjoyed 59 total points in the past year, dwarfing his previous record of 25 back in 2018-19. Mittelstadt struggled with on-ice production in recent seasons and some Die By the Blade readers even wondered if GM Kevyn Adams would trade him.

Few observers feel that way now, after the year he enjoyed. However, critics are right that Mittelstadt could score more goals. 15 a season is way too low and the Sabres’ offensive powerhouses like Thompson, Skinner, Tuch and Cozens dwarf Mittelstadt’s goal scoring production.

Where Mittelstadt shines is in assists and working with linemates to create scoring chances. When Tage Thompson suffered an upper-body injury late in the season, Sabres coach Don Granato put Mittelstadt on the team’s top scoring line between Jeff Skinner and Alex Tuch.

Even after TNT returned, Granato kept No. 37 on the ice with Tuch and Skinner. One of the best examples of how Mittelstadt collaborates with other players was during an April Fool’s Day matchup against the Philadelphia Flyers. Mittelstadt dropped a pass to Tuch, who shot it in the top of Philadelphia’s net to put the Sabres ahead 2-1.

Almost a month earlier, Buffalo was tied with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second period. Mittelstadt passed the puck from behind the net to Vinnie Hinostroza, and Hinostroza fired it from the circle to make it 2-1 Sabres.

Mittelstadt also has the knack for scoring goals when the Blue and Gold need them the most. While few fans can forget his overtime game winner against the Chicago Blackhawks last year during Rick Jeanneret’s final broadcast, he’s come through when the chips were down since then.

As well as his shootout winner against the New York Rangers on April 10, Mittelstadt scored the overtime winning goal versus the Ottawa Senators on April 13, veteran netminder Craig Anderson’s last game. Skinner passed the puck from behind the net to Dahlin, who fed it to Mittelstadt, allowing him to win it with a quick shot that beat Sens goalie Mads Sogaard.

Mittelstadt proved he deserves to stay with the Sabres long-term. When his contract is up at the end of next season, fans shouldn’t be surprised if Adams matches any offers on the open market. With his skill, team player mindset and persistence, he’s definitely earned his stripes.

Season Grade: A