The Buffalo Sabres have announced that 2017 eighth overall pick Casey Mittelstadt has signed a three-year entry-level deal with the team.
We've signed forward Casey Mittelstadt to a 3-year entry-level contract.
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) March 26, 2018
Mittelstadt leaves the University of Minnesota after one season to join the Sabres NHL roster for the remainder of the season. Unlike Borgen, Mittelstadt will be ineligible to play for Roch in the playoffs.
This means that Mittelstadt will burn the first year of his contract the second he steps foot on the ice with the Sabres.
Mittelstadt finishes his NCAA career with 34 games played 11 goals and 19 assists. After Lucia stepped down as head coach and Mittelstadt’s teammate Ryan Lindgren signed with the Rangers it looked like a real possibility the Sabres could lure him out of college.
Botterill makes another big splash in consecutive days, signing Mittlestadt and getting him on the Sabres roster is a huge win for Buffalo.
Not only does it help squash the college players rejecting Buffalo narrative, but it gives the Sabres fans reason to watch the rest of the season.
Two other huge positives come out of the Mittelstadt signing, Mittelstadt will be exempt from a potential Seattle expansion draft due to his late birthday, and because he is burnig year one of his ELC he will not be a full RFA once it’s over.
Meaning he wont be able to receive offer sheets or be eligible for arbitration. TSN’s Bob McKenzie has more information on the signing.
Because Mittelstadt is a late birthdate (Nov/98), he burns the first-year of his entry-level contract as soon as he signs it, but he does not get to count this season as a pro year, which means he won’t need to be protected for expansion draft (assuming it’s in 2020).
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 26, 2018
Mittelstadt is expected to join the Sabres tomorrow and could be in the lineup as early as Thursday at home against Detroit.