You can’t say enough about how far Casey Mittelstadt has come as an NHL player. Once deemed as a draft bust, the former first-round pick has turned into arguably the Buffalo Sabres most consistent forward since December 2022, and he’s been a beacon of light while most of the team has struggled.
He also leads the Sabres in points at 31 heading into the Blue and Gold’s tilt against the Montreal Canadiens while Rasmus Dahlin is just two behind him at 29. Mittelstadt also has a plus-6 rating compared to Dahlin’s team low minus-14, so it’s rather perplexing to see the defenseman get the nod here.
Clearly, Mittelstadt has been the better and more consistent player, even if Dahlin has attained the popularity, evidenced by this being his third-straight All-Star appearance. He represented the Sabres in 2022 before he was a last-minute addition in 2023 following a minor injury to Tage Thompson. But even with his popularity, Mittelstadt more than deserved the honor this season.
Casey Mittelstadt snubbed as the Buffalo Sabres entry at the All-Star Game
Not all hope is lost for Mittelstadt, however, as fans can still vote for him to be one of the final 12 entries into the midseason event. If he enjoys a few sound performances starting in the game that is currently going on right now, then perhaps he still snags the honor, but for now, that remains an uncertainty.
It won’t be incredibly long until we find out, but if he gets into the show, he will more than deserve his spot. It would serve as a badge for how far Mittelstadt has come after he looked like a player who would fall way short of expectations. But until then, Buffalo Sabres fans will nonetheless root for Dahlin in the event barring any unforeseen injury between now and February.
(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)