Casey Mittelstadt was one of a pair of players to enjoy a breakout year for the Buffalo Sabres in 2022-23 – and 2023-24 can be another step north.
What kind of Casey Mittelstadt can we expect to see in 2023-24? The underperforming, injury-prone Casey Mittelstadt that we grew accustomed to, or the highly-productive Mittelstadt who kept the Buffalo Sabres first line more than afloat when the Blue and Gold went without Tage Thompson for a few games toward the end of the year?
With the Sabres being an overall better hockey team this season, I’m expecting the latter, and in a bold predictions piece, I’m also assuming the latter. As I’ve stated with previous pieces, this 75 in 75 series is all about predicting ceilings, or at times, just above a ceiling. And with Mittelstadt being the frontrunner to take Jack Quinn’s spot on the second line for perhaps half the season, his points total could erupt this year.
Casey Mittelstadt will be Top 3 in points for the Buffalo Sabres…
Throughout the first half of the 2023-24 season, as I’m still projecting Mittelstadt to be the winger on the second line alongside Dylan Cozens and J.J. Peterka. Cozens will pull off another respectable points total, and Peterka has given us plenty of reasons to believe he will also score a lot this season.
Mittelstadt will also pitch in, but his forte will once again come in the form of assists. Last season, Mittelstadt had 44 of them, and throughout the first half of 2023-24, it’s bold but not unrealistic that, with more ice time, he will average 0.75 assists per game over the first 41 contests.
This gives Mittelstadt 31 assists, and I’ll even say that goal-wise he will keep pace with what he did last season, so he gets eight of them and 39 total points in the first half of the year. When Quinn returns, there will be a drop-off, but Mittelstadt will more than prove his worth in the Top 6 once more.
(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)