Welcome back Casey! 👊
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) December 23, 2020
Casey Mittelstadt Re-Signs in Buffalo
Mittelstadt bounced back and forth between the NHL and AHL last season. In the AHL, Mittelstadt played with the Rochester Americans. In 36 games played last season, he scored nine goals and had 16 assists, combining for 25 points. Along with those points, he registered six minutes in penalties. With the Sabres, Mittelstadt recorded nine points (four goals and five assists) and two penalty minutes over 31 games played. He averaged just under 13 minutes of ice time per game, with a Corsi of 44.9 percent and a relative Corsi of -6.0. In his three-year NHL career, Mittelstadt has played all 114 games with Buffalo. In those games, he’s scored 17 times, recorded 22 assists, combining for 39 points. His career Corsi is 47.9 percent, with a relative Corsi of -2.4.
What This Means for the Future
From the numbers, it is clear Mittelstadt is not ready for NHL hockey yet. He performed well with the Americans, averaging about 0.70 points per game, good for third on his team. However, his production dropped off sharply playing at an NHL level, shown by his miserably low plus/minus of -23 over his career. He will likely be in that fourth-line centerman spot, battling with Curtis Lazar for that role. By having Casey Mittelstadt re-signed, Buffalo can choose between him and Lazar for that starting roster spot.
While the Sabres have found a star to play alongside Jack Eichel in Taylor Hall, they still need depth, especially at the fourth line. Mittelstadt is not talented enough to be that strong centerman yet, and still needs a few more years in the AHL. While Buffalo may choose to play him in both leagues, it would be best for him to complete an entire season in the AHL before moving up permanently.