The Buffalo Sabres announced on Monday that they have signed Minnesota Golden Gophers freshman Casey Mittelstadt. Mittelstadt will report to the Sabres NHL team and may make his NHL debut Thursday night against the Detroit Red Wings.
Mittelstadt was the eighth overall selection in the first round of the NHL Draft last summer by the Buffalo Sabres. By finishing the season with the Sabres this spring he will burn one of the three years on his NHL entry-level contract.
Interesting to note that Casey Mittselstadt is a late b-day (Nov 22).— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) March 26, 2018
Meaning that despite being 19, the league will flag him as a player with an EL Signing Age of 20.
As a result, his contract is not slide eligible & he will automatically burn the first year on his ELC. https://t.co/b5tslmTDn3
Mittelstadt recorded 11 goals and 19 assists in 34 games this season for the Gophers. His 30 points on the season ranked him second on the Gophers, and the 7th highest point total by a freshman in the NCAA last season. He was named to the All-Big Ten Freshman team.
Minnesota fans knew this was a strong possibility, but have to be disappointed that Mittelstadt’s only season in the maroon and gold ended how it did. His departure will leave a large gap in the Minnesota lineup next season for whomever will be the new Minnesota coach to figure out a way to plug.
Minnesota fans will still await potential additional early departures from players such as Tyler Sheehy, Rem Pitlick, Tommy Novak, and Brent Gates, Jr. All of those players most likely would be leaving Minnesota to play in the AHL, so hopefully they decide to stay for another season.