Despite a strong rookie season from Christian Dvorak and a lot of hope for Dylan Strome, the Arizona Coyotes are still looking for their future top-line center, and Casey Mittelstadt could be that center.
Centers are such a coveted position in today’s NHL, and it’s tough to predict which prospects will be successful, so it’s best for teams like the Coyotes to get as many high skilled prospects as they can.
Casey Mittelstadt – Flash Stats
USHS Eden Prairie High - 25 Games - 21 Goals - 43 Assists - 64 Points - 8 PIM
USHL Green Bay Gamblers – 24 Games – 13 Goals – 17 Assists – 30 Points – 2 PIM
A native of Eden Praire, Minnesota, Mittelstadt is one of the top players in the United States at this year’s draft and one of the best players to come out of Minnesota in a while. Mittelstadt has spent most of his career in Minnesota and hasn’t played a lot internationally, appearing on the US National U18 Team and at World Juniors only in 2015/16.
If you’re the type of person that doesn’t follow prospects and you think that the name Casey Mittelstadt sounds familiar, there is a reason for that. He has headlined a few stories for failing to do a pull-up at the NHL’s combine, which should feel like déjà vu for those who even mildly keep up with prospects.
A bad combine or a bad second half of the season can easily drop a prospect’s rating among the press and at the draft, and you can argue whether that is fair or not. Last draft proved that GM John Chayka is willing to grab a draftee who slides down the rankings though, a move that turned out well for the Coyotes and Jakob Chychrun.
Mittelstadt’s game appears to be great combination of skill and hockey sense. Most reports detail a player who can find the small holes in his opponent’s game and use his skill to exploit those holes. Watching his highlight reels you can see him make some great plays that most players couldn’t pull off and thus the other team probably doesn’t expect him to pull off.
Casey Mittelstadt NHL draft scouting report | SB Nation 2017 N...
Let's play SB Nation NHL Draft Match! Up next, it's Minnesota's Casey Mittelstadt! ❤️ or ?Posted by SB Nation NHL on Thursday, May 25, 2017
If the fact that Mittelstadt wasn’t able to do a pull-up isn’t a big enough sign that Mittelstadt needs a bit more time to develop, he is currently set to spend next season in his home state at the University of Minnesota. He probably doesn’t need too much time though, and you can be expecting him to compete for a roster spot on any team that selects him for the 2018 season.
So if Mittelstadt is available when the Coyotes first pick comes around, should the Coyotes select him?
The Coyotes should be stocking up on centers who are expected to play center in the NHL, and Mittelstadt would be a solid addition to the Coyotes deep prospect pool. At 7th the Coyotes probably aren’t expecting to be getting a player who will play next season, so the year in college isn’t going to be a deal breaker. If the Yotes do end up getting Mittelstadt though, be prepared to hear “Mittelstadt to Brendan Perlini and he scores” in early 2019.