2. Casey Mittelstadt
2016-17 Team: Eden Prairie High School
Date of Birth: November 22, 1998 (18 years old)
Wt: 201 lbs
Position: Center/Left Wing
Forward Casey Mittelstadt should go top-five — The Draft Analyst even has him going in the #1 spot, though he’s more commonly ranked between numbers three and five.
What’s unfortunate for scouting purposes is that Mittelstadt chose to play high school hockey rather than major juniors or college — he was actually supposed to go to the University of Minnesota in lieu of his senior year of high school. That means Casey hasn’t been playing with or against the best talent in his age group.
That said, Casey Mittelstadt is still considered a dominant player. Curtis Joe of Elite Prospects calls him “the complete package of speed, skill, and hockey sense.” Joe especially praises his puck skills, creativity and compete level.
Peter Harling of Dobber Prospects considers Mittelstadt might have the most skill in his draft class. Harling adds:
"“He has elite puck control skills, is a big strong player and has excellent vision and play making skill to compliment his lethal shot.”"
As I pointed out in my draft profile of Casey Mittelstadt, his compete level and tenacity would be a boon to the team. However, Mittelstadt is committed to playing for the University of Minnesota next season.
That and the fact that Casey Mittelstadt played below his level last season might give the Colorado Avalanche pause in using their #4 pick on him. That’s why he didn’t make the #1 spot despite recording 1.94 points per game last season. Yet he has the skating and stick skills the team is looking for, which is why I think the team might consider him over Gabe Vilardi.