Sabres Draft Highschool’s ‘Mr. Hockey’
The Sabres rebuild continued Friday night at the NHL Draft in Chicago. They held the #8 pick (because the lottery Gods absolutely hate us), and decided to draft Casey Mittelstadt from Eden Prairie, MN.
Hockey drafts are very different than NFL drafts. In the NFL, the player you pick is generally a starter or will play significantly his first year. In the NHL, it can be years before we see the player play on the big team. In the case of our recent first round pick, it will be a while....or even longer.
Casey just finished highschool and looks like he is 12 years old. He probably just got his first few chest hairs, so don't expect him to be sporting the blue and gold taking on men anytime soon. The good news is that he is very talented. He won the title of 'Mr. Hockey' for Minnesota. That's reserved for the best of the best. The bad news is that really means nothing if he doesn't help us win a cup in the next 5 years.
Jack Eichel was drafted as a day 1 starter, franchise changing player. That's why it was such a big deal when we drafted him. It's rare to get a player like that. Even with Jack, he was still a college player. Casey still needs to go to school, and bulk up (A LOT) before he can do anything for us.
Hopefully the Sabres brass know what they are doing with this pick and it pans out in the best of ways. Based on our history, I would guess that it will fail miserably, and that is coming from a very optimistic Sabres fan! I don't know, maybe it will work out, I just want to start winning again. The Sabres need to get our Buffalo sports fire lit again. Maybe the kid who is now just old enough to use matches can get it started for us.