Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
GASabresIUFAN

Forward Next Year - Casey Mittelstadt

Recommended Posts

Since we are in the summer doldrums I thought I'd spice things up a little with a discussion of our expectations for certain key players next season.  Understanding that the situation can change by opening day, but given what we know today, what are your expectations for (insert player name here)?

As of today I'd project our forward group as

Skinner Jack Olofsson

Johansson Casey Reinhart

Vesey ERod Sheary

Girgensons Larsson KO

What brought this thread to mind was Pronman's comments in the Athletic

Quote

Mittelstadt had rookie season struggles with flashes of brilliance. He has elite skill, but he struggled with the NHL pace more than I thought he would. I do think he will be a very good player, but I may have gotten ahead of myself with his projection last season.

I wondered if his linemates last season and their inability to play the game at a even mediocre level also contributed to his struggles.  I looked as his most common linemates and found he was most often paired with Sheary (42%) and Okposo (31.5%) and Thompson (17.25%); not exactly an all-star group.

With this lineup in mind (you can use your own), I'm projecting Casey as our 2nd line center and that an older, wiser and more fit Casey is better able to handle the rigors of the NHL especially playing with 2 very capable top 6 wingers. With his entire line with center experience, HCRK can actually mix and match these guys in the faceoff circle.

Playing with Johansson and Reinhart the majority of the time should help his stats and give him some confidence.  He played well his tryout games (small sample size) when paired with good players.  From a points projection, if all goes well, I think he could make a major jump to the 45 pt area (20g 25a). If he does this he'll be in the same ballpark as Zajac, Henrique, Kadri, Miller, Kerfoot, Galchenyuk and even Tyler Johnson were last season.

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
  • Like (+1) 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Since we are in the summer doldrums I thought I'd spice things up a little with a discussion of our expectations for certain key players next season.  Understanding that the situation can change by opening day, but given what we know today, what are your expectations for (insert player name here)?

As of today I'd project our forward group as

Skinner Jack Olofsson

Johansson Casey Reinhart

Vesey ERod Sheary

Girgensons Larsson KO

What brought this thread to mind was Pronman's comments in the Athletic

I wondered if his linemates last season and their inability to play the game at a even mediocre level also contributed to his struggles.  I looked as his most common linemates and found he was most often paired with Sheary (42%) and Okposo (31.5%) and Thompson (17.25%); not exactly an all-star group.

With this lineup in mind (you can use your own), I'm projecting Casey as our 2nd line center and that an older, wiser and more fit Casey is better able to handle the rigors of the NHL especially playing with 2 very capable top 6 wingers. With his entire line with center experience, HCRK can actually mix and match these guys in the faceoff circle.

Playing with Johansson and Reinhart the majority of the time should help his stats and give him some confidence.  He played well his tryout games (small sample size) when paired with good players.  From a points projection, if all goes well, I think he could make a major jump to the 45 pt area (20g 25a). If he does this he'll be in the same ballpark as Zajac, Henrique, Kadri, Miller, Kerfoot, Galchenyuk and even Tyler Johnson were last season.

Sheary is basically useless at creating anything on his own. His defensive zone play is poor. His offensive zone play is that of lesser Evander Kane. I think Okposo helped a little in that he could play defense and offense although in a limited capacity. Basically, if Casey improved his conditioning and was given slightly better linemates, I think a 15point increase is possible. How many passes were fumbled by his winger or in Sheary's case just fired into the goalie or missed completely? 

Idk if Casey will make it but I know that Sheary as his primary winger isn't going to get him far. 

  • Like (+1) 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pending a trade for a better centre, I think the current plan is for Casey to play with Reinhart, who seems to have a positive effect on everyone. And that should help.

But we can’t hand wave away Casey’s flaws by blaming his linemates. His game is based on one-on-one dominance and he simply wasn’t beating his man last year.

He needs to be quicker, stronger and more fit and he’s had five months to address that. According to Botterill he has, but I will believe it when I see it. He will be better this season, but I don’t think he will be up to the task of 2C.

But I remain a believer long-term. This board is underrating Casey’s skill and competitiveness. If and when the maturity comes, he will be dangerous. 

  • Like (+1) 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He'll be good someday fairly soon. 

I would have called it an abject failure of an offseason to come into this season with him slotted at 2C, and time passing with no hockey happening hasn't dulled or changed that feeling.

  • Like (+1) 1
  • Thanks (+1) 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Casey was definitely flawed last season. He needs to be better at everything. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mittsie's development is IMHO a huge under-the-radar swing factor for the Sabres' fortunes this season (the more obvious ones being whether they get better goaltending and coaching).  I am pretty skeptical that they will be able to bring in a legit #2C this summer, so the job -- which is a critical role in the lineup -- is open. 

If Mittsie can step up and fill the #2C role capably, then the 2nd line will be much better than it was last year, which will make a major difference.  But if he's unable to process the game at NHL speed -- which IMHO is the biggest risk here -- he again will add negligible value and the Sabres will need someone else to fill that role, and do it well, or else they'll be screwed.

  • Like (+1) 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My lines would be

Skinner-Eichel-Sheary

Olofsson-Mittlestadt-Reinhart 

Vesey-EROD-Johansson 

Zemgus-Larry-KO

  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This team will not get any better if all the young players don't move forward, and I mean Jack, Samson, Casey, Dahlin and even the newer draft picks and hopefully Tage Thompson. If they all move forward one or two steps together this team will show some real flashes I'm sure. 

 

Casey to me looks like a hockey player. I don't look at him and hope he will try and get better, I just assume he will. That he has more choices for wingers is a good thing in that hopefully they find a player who meshes really well with him. Whoever that is. I like the 20g24as prediction. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Brawndo said:

My lines would be

Skinner-Eichel-Sheary

Olofsson-Mittlestadt-Reinhart 

Vesey-EROD-Johansson 

Zemgus-Larry-KO

Can definitely see this or this with Vesey and Sheary flipped as something Krueger will try.

But really see any lineup with Mittelstadt at 2C THIS season as fatally flawed.  Really think that Rodrigues will be more effective at 2C than Mitts and also that Mitts will be more effective in a 3C role rather than the 2C role.

And still see shipping Ristolainen out for a 2RW or as a package for a 2C making too much sense, to believe the roster the Sabres currently have is the 1 they move forward with.  Just need that 1st RFA to sign to get stuff moving.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Taro T said:

Can definitely see this or this with Vesey and Sheary flipped as something Krueger will try.

But really see any lineup with Mittelstadt at 2C THIS season as fatally flawed.  Really think that Rodrigues will be more effective at 2C than Mitts and also that Mitts will be more effective in a 3C role rather than the 2C role.

And still see shipping Ristolainen out for a 2RW or as a package for a 2C making too much sense, to believe the roster the Sabres currently have is the 1 they move forward with.  Just need that 1st RFA to sign to get stuff moving.

A 2C isn’t happening. Hopefully a 2RW but Ristolainen doesn’t currently hold huge value. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, freester said:

A 2C isn’t happening. Hopefully a 2RW but Ristolainen doesn’t currently hold huge value. 

A 2C coming in is less likely at this point, thus it being listed as the 2nd option.

But Ristolainen going out the door for say Ehlers (2LW that can play RW) or Roslovic (3C better than Sabres current 2C options) is plausible.  And packages could make a better fit also plausible.

And all it takes is 1 GM that believes weakening his F's to improve his D with a 2nd pairing RHD that has the stamina of a marathoner makes sense to make a deal happen.

Did anyone in St. Louis expect to land O'Reilly for the total lack of a hit to their roster last year that he was brought in for?

And a better 2RW could make a 2nd line viable with Rodrigues or Johansson centering it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Brawndo said:

My lines would be

Skinner-Eichel-Sheary

Olofsson-Mittlestadt-Reinhart 

Vesey-EROD-Johansson 

Zemgus-Larry-KO

Mine is similar but I think Johansson gets the first shot at 2LW in the top 6, and Vesey on the right as I believe he’s played there most. 

Skinner - Eichel - Sheary

Johansson - Mittelstadt - Reinhart

Olofsson - Rodrigues - Vesey

Girgensons - Larsson - Okposo 

- - - 

I’m still fantasizing over how close this forward roster is to being competitive, with the addition of a 2C, easily the most glaring hole in the roster. One I don’t believe a sophomore coming of a struggle of a rookie season is close to adequately filling. 

I also think we have the wingers in place for Mittelstadt to thrive in a 3C role, whereas others have mentioned we may stunt his development playing with lower-level wingers there. If we have a legit 2C between Johansson and Reinhart, we are looking at a solid top 6 with the potential for a sheltered 3rd line. I’d shift Rodrigues to wing in that scenario:

Olofsson - Mittelstadt - Rodrigues

..to me is a third line with good potential that’ll be able to take advantage of easier matchups. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not worried in the least about Mitts one year in the books in a professional league. He’ll take developmental steps every year. 

  • Like (+1) 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Thorny said:

Mine is similar but I think Johansson gets the first shot at 2LW in the top 6, and Vesey on the right as I believe he’s played there most. 

Skinner - Eichel - Sheary

Johansson - Mittelstadt - Reinhart

Olofsson - Rodrigues - Vesey

Girgensons - Larsson - Okposo 

- - - 

I’m still fantasizing over how close this forward roster is to being competitive, with the addition of a 2C, easily the most glaring hole in the roster. One I don’t believe a sophomore coming of a struggle of a rookie season is close to adequately filling. 

I also think we have the wingers in place for Mittelstadt to thrive in a 3C role, whereas others have mentioned we may stunt his development playing with lower-level wingers there. If we have a legit 2C between Johansson and Reinhart, we are looking at a solid top 6 with the potential for a sheltered 3rd line. I’d shift Rodrigues to wing in that scenario:

Olofsson - Mittelstadt - Rodrigues

..to me is a third line with good potential that’ll be able to take advantage of easier matchups. 

Mittelstadt's development isn't going to get stifled playing with middle 6 wingers.   (Which regardless of whether he's 2C or 3C, he'll end up with at least 1 of because he's not getting both top line wingers.)

It's not like Wilson is going to be his linemate regularly on the 3rd line.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Taro T said:

A 2C coming in is less likely at this point, thus it being listed as the 2nd option.

But Ristolainen going out the door for say Ehlers (2LW that can play RW) or Roslovic (3C better than Sabres current 2C options) is plausible.  And packages could make a better fit also plausible.

And all it takes is 1 GM that believes weakening his F's to improve his D with a 2nd pairing RHD that has the stamina of a marathoner makes sense to make a deal happen.

Did anyone in St. Louis expect to land O'Reilly for the total lack of a hit to their roster last year that he was brought in for?

And a better 2RW could make a 2nd line viable with Rodrigues or Johansson centering it.

I don’t think we can land Ehlers.  Roslovic is an iadequate return.  Chevy is a very sharp GM and will not make many bad moves I think  Detroit is an option with either Mantha or Athenasoiu coming back

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, freester said:

I think  Detroit is an option with either Mantha or Athenasoiu coming back

NF way.  Mantha and Athanasiou are core pieces for them.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Doohickie said:

NF way.  Mantha and Athanasiou are core pieces for them.

 

I struggle to think of a situation where a team is going to have a spare 2C on hand in training camp, one of the most important positions on any given roster. It just seems like far too late for a player of that quality to be available, in my estimation. Maybe if there was some sort of situation out there akin to Risto where we were looking at heavy "wants out" rumours, but I am not aware of any. 

Perhaps he'll fetch a ready made winger. But the longer this goes, the chances of that player being a true impact guy shrinks. I think Risto is moved, we just have too many RHD, but I think it's going to be for futures or a Roslovic type player (ie a guy lacking the same "readiness" for 2C as we already have in Mittelstadt.)

I'll jump for joy if we get a 2C back, but realistically I think the best case scenario at this point is a winger popping loose, and as mentioned even that is less likely than some sort of package of futures.

The caveat being this unusual RFA situation, maybe somehow there's a big multi-piece hockey trade in waiting that'l be a huge bombshell. 

Edited by Thorny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought there was a brief moment last year when the Mittlestadt-Reinhart combo looked promising and think it's worth exploring. As such the Johanson-Mittlestadt-Reinhart potential #2 line should be given a look in pre-season. A lot obviously depends on the speed of Casey's development but for all those disappointed in him I'd suggest you remember that Reinhart looked terrible when he first arrived and was behind where Casey is imo at the same point in time. I think the most important thing might be continuity and regular linemates and Casey learning from Sam every shift might be really good for him and then us. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

I thought there was a brief moment last year when the Mittlestadt-Reinhart combo looked promising and think it's worth exploring. As such the Johanson-Mittlestadt-Reinhart potential #2 line should be given a look in pre-season. A lot obviously depends on the speed of Casey's development but for all those disappointed in him I'd suggest you remember that Reinhart looked terrible when he first arrived and was behind where Casey is imo at the same point in time. I think the most important thing might be continuity and regular linemates and Casey learning from Sam every shift might be really good for him and then us. 

And another thing to remember is nearly halfway through his THIRD full time NHL season a lot of the Reinhart fanbois were turning on him for his play in roles far less demanding than 2C.

Realize it's getting to broken record territory, but do not want to see Mittelstadt at 2C to start this season.  Unless his off-season improvement was truly extraordinary.  That is placing him intentionally in a role he his highly likely to fail in.  Let him play 3C and bump up when ready &/or Eichel goes out with injury.

He's going to become the 2C in a year or 2 and look very good in that role.  But they need at least a stopgap there for now.  Preference is still "not on roster at present" but would try Rodrigues and Johansson there first before throwing Mitts to the wolves.

  • Thanks (+1) 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Sabres fans have to be patient with Casey.  I want to see him on the second line with Reinhart and Johansson.  If he improves to 15-17 g, 25-30 assist, and gets you 40-50 points that would be a very solid second year.  

If you look at the last five drafts, there are only a handful of centers who have made an impact so far, and most of them were top three picks.  

Draisaitl, Point, Larrkin from 2014.

McDavid, Eichel, Barzl, Aho from 2015.

Matthews, Luc-Dubois from 2016.

Petterson from 2017.

None from 2018. 

Mitts falls into the next category and could be 3-5 years before he hits the 60-70 point mark.  Which is fine. Let him have a decent year this year and sign a bridge deal for 3.5 million for 2-3 years.  If he goes off for 70 points this year your looking at a big pay raise and effecting the cap structure for this team.

My lineup would be...

Skinner- Eichel- Vesey (I like his big body and willingness to go to the net)

Johansson- Mitts- Reinhart

Olofson- ERod- Sheary (would rather trade Sheary to Preds for Bonino and then slide ERod to RW)

Girgs- Larsson- Okposo

 

 

  • Like (+1) 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Taro T said:

Realize it's getting to broken record territory, but do not want to see Mittelstadt at 2C to start this season.  Unless his off-season improvement was truly extraordinary.  That is placing him intentionally in a role he his highly likely to fail in.  Let him play 3C and bump up when ready &/or Eichel goes out with injury.

He's going to become the 2C in a year or 2 and look very good in that role.  But they need at least a stopgap there for now.  Preference is still "not on roster at present" but would try Rodrigues and Johansson there first before throwing Mitts to the wolves.

I'm not really disagreeing with this but there is one thing I want to add. I questioned JBot's decision to have Casey as 2C last year but for now have to give him the benefit of a doubt that he knows more about his personality than I do. Some players/people need nurturing, pats on the back, small victories (success at a lower level), lots of teaching to grow and succeed. Others have a fire to succeed that fuels them and they grow faster when they are challenged, when they fail, when they don't meet their own personal expectations. They set their own bar high and work harder when they don't meet it. Maybe JBot believes Casey is the second kind of person. Maybe he's right?  

I think it's worth a shot though with Casey at 2C and if it fails early they can switch him and Johanson maybe or rearrange things to go with what works.

I like E-Rod as a utility player, but there is no way he's a 2C either. Ideally, I like E-Rod on the 4th line with Girgs and Larsson but we're nowhere near good enough up front for that unless somehow Kyle regains his game under Kreuger. Miracles can happen (?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Taro T said:

And another thing to remember is nearly halfway through his THIRD full time NHL season a lot of the Reinhart fanbois were turning on him for his play in roles far less demanding than 2C.

Realize it's getting to broken record territory, but do not want to see Mittelstadt at 2C to start this season.  Unless his off-season improvement was truly extraordinary.  That is placing him intentionally in a role he his highly likely to fail in.  Let him play 3C and bump up when ready &/or Eichel goes out with injury.

He's going to become the 2C in a year or 2 and look very good in that role.  But they need at least a stopgap there for now.  Preference is still "not on roster at present" but would try Rodrigues and Johansson there first before throwing Mitts to the wolves.

There's a tidal wave of demand to soften what was a firm expectation for Botterill to improve the centre ice position over the summer, so I'm always glad to read the selection in bold. It's still the bar by which Botterill should be judged for this off-season, in my view. 

  • Like (+1) 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...