The latest in our series on top prospects for the 2017 NHL Draft focuses on center Casey Mittelstadt who played in both the United States Hockey League and the high school ranks in Minnesota this past season. Scouts give Mittelstadt high marks for his speed, creativity and hockey sense. The next step in his hockey development will come at the University of Minnesota.
Height/Weight: 6-0/199 pounds
Born: November 22, 1998
Birthplace: Edina, Minnesota
2016-17 Team: Green Bay (United States Hockey League)/ Eden Prairie High School (Minnesota)
NHL Central Scouting: 3rd among North American Skaters
International Scouting Services: 7th among all skaters
TSN: 5th among all players
The Hockey News: 4th among all players
Red Line Report: 7th among all players
ESPN: 12th among all skaters
Mittelstadt started the season with Green Bay of the United States Hockey League, where he recorded 30 points (13 goals, 17 assists) in 24 games. He returned to his high school team in Minnesota, Eden Prairie H.S., registering 64 points (21 goals, 43 assists) in 25 games. He was the winner of Minnesota's Mr. Hockey Award as the top senior high school player in the state. Mittelstadt also was named the USHS All-USA Hockey Player of the Year and USHS All-USA Hockey First Team.
Mittelstadt has committed to play at the University of Minnesota for the 2017-18 season. He recorded 59 points (22 goals, 37 assists) in 25 games with Eden Prairie H.S. in 2015-16. He registered nine points (four goals, five assists) in seven games as USA won the bronze medal at the 2016 U-18 World Championship. Mittelstadt tied for the scoring lead at the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup with seven points (three goals, four assists) in four games.
"Casey Mittelstadt is an exceptional talent, and I am talking NHL assets, where he has speed, offensive hockey sense, scoring touch, scoring ability and able to process and play the game at a top speed. What we like about him, we've seen him in different environments, whether it is World Junior camps, U-18, U-17, USHL, he plays the same game, he produces the same results. He impacts. You know you are dealing with a special player when they can go into any environment and impact the same way." - Dan Marr, Director NHL Central Scouting (TSN 1040)
"Very explosive and will challenge the opposing defenseman one on one at this level. Very good puck skills in tight areas and will not shy from contact to make a play. He is more of a choppy skater and will need to become more fluid to have better pace at the higher level." - Jose Charbonneau, International Scouting Services 2017 NHL Draft Guide (isshockey.com)
"Mittelstadt is a dynamic playmaker who can generate scoring chances in bunches. He can dangle in open ice with the best of them, can play with pace and make a highlight happen at any given moment. Mittelstadt sees the ice very well, often executing on high-difficulty feeds and serving as a primary starting point of offense. His skating isn't as dynamic as his hands, but he skates well and has that extra separation gear in his feet. Off the puck he isn't as great, as he loses more battles than he should." - Corey Pronman, ESPN (ESPN.com)
This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.