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Sports Buffalo Sabres sign former first-round pick Casey Mittelstadt to three-year deal

20:05  02 september  2021
20:05  02 september  2021 Source:   prohockeyrumors.com

Buffalo Sabres Fans Deserve a Better Hockey Team

  Buffalo Sabres Fans Deserve a Better Hockey Team It will be a bowling-shoe ugly 2021-22 campaign for the Buffalo Sabres, and nothing short of a miracle on ice will prevent it. The good people of Buffalo deserve better, but they’re not going to get better anytime soon. © Provided by Hockey News on Sports Illustrated Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports They say the term “empathy” is the feeling that describes putting yourself in the shoes of another and trying to see things their way.

The Buffalo Sabres have reached an agreement with one of their restricted free agents, signing Casey Mittelstadt to a three-year deal. The contract comes with an average annual value of $2.5M, a nice boost for a player that still hasn’t quite lived up to his high draft pedigree.

a hockey game in the snow: Buffalo Sabres center Casey Mittelstadt © Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Buffalo Sabres center Casey Mittelstadt

Mittelstadt, 22, was the eighth overall pick in 2017, selected a few spots ahead of young players like Martin Necas and Nick Suzuki who have already established themselves as key parts with their respective teams. In Buffalo, Mittelstadt has experienced the same struggles that almost everyone else on the roster has, posting just 61 points in 155 games. In 2019-20 he was sent to the Rochester Americans for half the season to work on his game, as it was not quite consistent enough to help the NHL squad.

Buffalo Sabres finalizing three-year, $7.5M deal with Henri Jokiharju

  Buffalo Sabres finalizing three-year, $7.5M deal with Henri Jokiharju Jokiharju, 22, was the player acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Alexander Nylander in 2019 and has played 115 games for the Sabres over the last two seasons. His performance in those games has been passable, though the young defenseman has still not taken the step forward some expected after making the NHL as a teenager in Chicago. Selected 29th overall in 2017, Jokiharju was in the NHL by 2018, playing big minutes for the Blackhawks at the age of 19. In fact, he averaged 21:30 in his first 20 games in the league and racked up nine points.

The encouraging part about Mittelstadt, and why this three-year contract may look like quite a bargain very quickly, is his performance under head coach Don Granato. When Granato took over partway through last season, Mittelstadt had just one goal and five points in 13 games. He was seeing inconsistent minutes and not regularly lining up at center. That changed under the new head coach, and the young forward took a huge step forward, scoring nine goals and 17 points in 28 games through the end of the season. In those matches, he averaged more than 17 minutes a night and played center full-time.

If Mittelstadt can continue to play up to his draft pedigree under Granato, the Sabres have a true building block to help turn things around. The young forward has outstanding puck skills and playmaking ability, but seemed completely lost at times under the previous regimes. The team is obviously not giving up on him, investing in a multi-year deal ahead of what could be a breakout season.

A free-agent profile for former All-Star goaltender Devan Dubnyk

  A free-agent profile for former All-Star goaltender Devan Dubnyk Dubnyk could find a spot where he can act as a No. 3 and, if need be or if he shows he is capable, can take over a backup role. Again, it isn’t the most valuable label, but it could benefit a number of teams. At the end of the day, for those clubs that decide they need another goalie this late in the offseason or in-season but don’t want to make a trade, Dubnyk is the best option.Stats2020-21: 22 GP, 6-11-2 (.368), .895 SV%, 3.20 GAA, .444 QS%, 1 SOCareer: 542 GP, 253-206-54 (.546), .914 SV%, 2.61 GAA, .

The $2.5M cap charge brings the Sabres a little closer to the cap floor, with Rasmus Dahlin and Henri Jokiharju still to sign. The big question is Jack Eichel, though, as a trade would leave the Sabres scrambling to add salary if a similar number – $10M – didn’t come back the other way.

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usr: 0
This is interesting!