Casey Mittelstadt just completed his freshman season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres sign top prospect Casey Mittelstadt to entry-level contract

TORONTO – The Buffalo Sabres have signed top prospect Casey Mittelstadt, the eighth overall pick in 2017, to a three-year, entry-level contract, the team announced this morning.

Sabres coach Phil Housley said this afternoon he wants to play Mittelstadt as soon as possible. Housley said Mittelstadt is expected to arrive in Buffalo tonight or Tuesday. After tonight’s tilt against the Maple Leafs, the Sabres host the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.

Naturally, Housley is excited about Mittelstadt’s addition. The youngster possesses speed, an asset the Sabres sorely need.

“You’ll see another level of speed, for sure,” Housley said inside the Air Canada Centre. “He plays the game at a high speed level with great hockey sense and a great IQ for the game. (It’s) a good adjustment for him to get up to speed, you’re playing in a man’s league and you’re playing against stronger and bigger players. Those are things that he’s going to have to make an adjustment to.

“I think by using his speed he’ll be able to create separation and get away from checks.”

Mittelstadt, 19, also starred for Team USA at the World Junior Championship Buffalo hosted in December and early January, earning tournament MVP honors.

The Sabres also signed Will Borgen, one of their top defense prospects, to an entry-level deal Sunday.

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