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2017 NHL Draft Profile: Should the Red Wings trade up, Casey Mittelstadt is everything you’d want in a top center

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CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Player vitals

Name: Casey Mittelstadt
Position: Center/Left Wing
Date of birth: November 22, 1998
Birthplace: Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 201 lbs
NHL comparable: Tyler Seguin

Rankings

ISS Hockey: #5
McKeen’s Hockey: #4
Future Considerations: #4
NHL CSS: #3 (North American skaters)

Player Analysis

Casey Mittelstadt is a dominant forward who has the ability to take over a game. He’s got an explosive first step, high-end top speed, incredible vision and instincts, a wicked shot, and soft hands with the puck on his stick. Although I couldn’t find any real highlights of his work in the defensive zone, I have no doubt in my mind he’ll be able to play an effective defensive game as he progresses into the NCAA and beyond. With his quickness, anticipation and feel for the game, it’s hard to imagine him without a strong defensive game.

Something that stands out to me in particular about Mittelstadt is the small number of penalties he takes. Through 26 career USHL games, he’s taken just 4 minutes of penalties. He’s a smart and disciplined player who’s got a handle on the game. Mittelstadt strikes me as a player who makes those around him better in every phase of the game. Whether it’s breaking the puck out of the defensive zone, getting the play rolling down the ice, or finishing it off, Mittelstadt’s an elite talent.

The 2016-17 USHS Minnesota Mr. Hockey winner (awarded to the best high school hockey player in the state) hasn’t played a whole bunch of hockey in the USHL, but from what I’ve seen he’s not going to have any issues translating his game to the NCAA next year with the University of Minnesota and beyond.

Highlights

Video credit: The Draft Analyst.

Video credit: Bigwhite06.


Casey Mittelstadt is exactly what the Red Wings crave at forward right now. He’s a dynamic offensive talent who’s able to play a consistent two-way game along the way. When I watch Mittelstadt play, I’m reminded a little bit of our own Dylan Larkin with his speed and ability to break away from the play.

A future with both Larkin and Mittelstadt playing down the middle for the Red Wings wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if Ken Holland decides to trade up. Although I can’t see Holland dish out major assets to make this happen, and Mittelstadt will most definitely be off the board before the ninth overall pick, it’s still fun to think about.