Casey Mittelstadt finished 2022-23 on a roll, but the Buffalo Sabres former first-round pick has picked up where he left off early in 2023-24.
Casey Mittelstadt has been outstanding across the 2023 calendar year. He has 49 points so far between January and November 1st, 2023, and he has appeared in 58 games in that stretch. Want more fun? Between March 25th and November 1st, the Buffalo Sabres center has a staggering 26 points in the last 21 games, eight goals, and 18 assists.
But if you think Mittelstadt is nothing but a solid points producer and passer, you would be wrong. In 2023-24, the (almost) 25-year-old has become a grittier player, having blocked six shots already this season and has taken the puck away seven times.
To put things into a greater perspective, Mittelstadt has a career-high of just 16 blocks in a single season, so when you do the math, he’s on pace to shatter that number. He had 50 takeaways last season, and once again, he can sail north to 64 come April 2024 if he keeps up his current pace.
Casey Mittelstadt is, at worst, one of the Buffalo Sabres most productive players
What’s even scarier about Mittelstadt this season is that all of his points through 10 games have come at even strength, and he’s also shooting at 23.1 percent with 25 shots on goal. This isn’t to say that Mittelstadt’s game is perfect by any means, as he still struggles with faceoffs, having won just 40.8 percent of them this season.
Despite a healthy PDO at 5-on-5 and boasting a plus-3 at the moment, the Sabres have allowed nearly one goal per game with Mittelstadt on the ice, and his oiSV sits at just 88.7. Buffalo has also enjoyed 56.8 percent of their starts in the offensive zone with Mittelstadt out there, yet his Corsi and Fenwick for at 5-on-5 sit at just 48.9 and 50.3 percent, respectively. This is a lower collective mark from what we saw last season.
Overall, you can’t argue that Mittelstadt isn’t the most productive, but there are still quite a few aspects of his game that he can improve. Expect to see the high-octane scoring and grittier play continue if he stays healthy, but generating even more scoring chances in the offensive zone would be great.
(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)