Sabres Rumors: Casey Mittelstadt Drawing Trade Interest

He was the No. 8 overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, and now Casey Mittelstadt appears to really be starting to live up to the hype. Having his best season, with 39 points in 46 games and a plus/minus of +9, the Buffalo Sabres forward is set to become a restricted free agent at season's end. And now, according to NHL Insider Kevin Weekes, he's also receiving plenty of trade interest around the league. 

They’ve taken care of all their young players with long-term deals. They haven’t with Casey Mittelstadt. So... he could be the odd man out in Buffalo, and he's drawing a lot of attention.

Indeed, the Sabres have recently locked up the rest of their young core in recent years including Tage Thompson, Mattias Samuelsson, Dylan Cozens, Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power. A lot of cap space will be tied up in future seasons amongst those five players, so it's reasonable to ask how much more they can commit to Mittelstadt. 

Power, in particular, is only at a $916,000 cap hit this season, but when his extension kicks in next season, he'll eat up $8.35 million. Dahlin's cap hit goes from $6M to $11M next year. 

The Sabres haven’t approached Mittelstadt about an extension as of yet, but he was surprised to hear his name in trade rumors.

“I love being here,” he told Sabres beat writer Lance Lysowski, and says he'd like to stay in Buffalo long term.

But with several young prospects close to arriving, and all that aforementioned cap space tied up going forward, it remains to be seen if Mittelstadt becomes a casualty of the numbers at the trade deadline.

Certainly, he would be in demand if they decided to dangle him on the trade market. As a young, former top-10 pick coming into his own with another year of team control due to his RFA status this summer, the Sabres could bring back a nice return for Mittelstadt.

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