Friday, June 23, 2017

2017 NHL Draft: Casey Mittelstadt taken 8th overall by Buffalo Sabres

University of Minnesota incoming freshman forward Casey Mittelstadt didn't have to wait long to hear his name called Friday night.

The Buffalo Sabres selected Mittelstadt in the first round with the eighth overall selection.

He's the first Gopher since Christian Isackson in 2010 to be chosen by the Sabres, who feature a new GM in former Michigan forward Jason Botterill and new head coach Phil Housley. Buffalo historically has been not afraid to spend high picks on Minnesota players, drafting Mike Ramsey (1979), Erik Rasmussen (1996), Keith Ballard (2002) and Thomas Vanek (2003) in the first round.

Mittelstadt, the 2017 Minnesota Mr. Hockey and a native of Eden Prairie, MN, was the first American and 2nd player with collegiate ties taken in the 2017 NHL Draft. Defenseman Cale Makar (UMass) went fourth overall to Colorado.

The 6'0", 194 lbs Mittelstadt became the first Minnesota-born player to be drafted in the top-10 since 2006 when Erik Johnson, Kyle Okposo and Peter Mueller were all taken in the first eight picks. He's the eighth Gopher to go in the top-10 of the NHL Draft.

With Mittelstadt's selection, Minnesota snapped a five year drought - the longest in over 20 years - without a first round pick.

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