Mittelstadt getting up to speed after trade to Avalanche

Having only previously represented the club that drafted him, Casey Mittelstadt is quickly settling into life with the Colorado Avalanche.

Mittelstadt getting up to speed after trade to Avalanche

Feature photo: Getty Images

Life for Casey Mittelstadt has been moving at a fast pace both on and off the ice lately.

Traded from the Buffalo Sabres to the Colorado Avalanche for defenceman Bowen Byram at the NHL Trade Deadline, the early aftermath of the move was expectedly a whirlwind for the 25-year-old.

Mittelstadt quickly took notice of the high-octane level his new teammates perform at and not only when there are two points on the line.

“The most impressive thing about this team, in my opinion, is the speed at which they play at, and the speed which they practice at,” Mittelstadt said of the Avalanche, who currently have the league’s fourth fastest skater in Nathan MacKinnon, according to NHL Edge. “It is intense and demanding and I am very thrilled to be a part of it.”

The eighth overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft has fit in seamlessly with his new team and linemates.

He netted his first goal in burgundy and blue on March 12 in a second period tally in a 6-2 road win against the Calgary Flames.

One night later, he posted an assist on Mikko Rantanen’s second period goal that ignited a 4-3 comeback victory for the Avs in Vancouver.

Over four straight win since his arrival in Denver, Mittelstadt posted three points and a plus-4 rating while assembling a road-game point streak.

“On a personal level, I really just want to get comfortable in the system and find some chemistry with my linemates.”

So far, so good.

Known as a creative and dynamic playmaker, Mittelstadt enjoyed a breakthrough 2022-23 campaign with Buffalo, in which he recorded 15 goals and 59 points over 82 games.

Through his first 66 games this season, the forward potted 15 goals and 50 points.

His former teammates in Buffalo had nothing but praise for his leadership and skill set.

“His ability to carry a game. … Guys gravitate towards him especially when it comes to hockey. … Really high hockey IQ. He sees the game like nobody else and he’s really smart about it.” said Sabres forward Alex Tuch.

That hockey IQ has been on full display since Mittelstadt’s pre-NHL days at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship where he was voted MVP with a tournament-leading 11 points as a member of Team USA, who earned bronze.

His main area of focus, however, is not on personal goals and assists.

“I’m not really looking at numbers so much as just the overall feeling of knowing and executing the way we want to play. I think the rest should follow.”

The friendly welcome from his new teammates has helped Mittelstadt feel settled quickly.

“The guys have been great, making me feel right at home right away. I’m very excited about what we can do as a group. I think everyone reached out to me pretty much,” he said with a laugh. “They all have been very welcoming to me, and it’s made me feel comfortable pretty quickly.”

Words of confidence in Mittelstadt from Avalanche general manager, Chris MacFarland, quickly followed news of the trade.

“He's a very good playmaking centre with really good vision,” MacFarland told “We think the last two years, his game has taken a jump. He's gotten stronger with experience, and we think there might even be another level to his game. And we think we have a very good role for him. So, we're excited to get him in the burgundy and blue and go from there.”

Mittelstadt will also get his first crack at playing post-season hockey. Currently, Colorado is in a tussle with Dallas, Winnipeg and Vancouver for the top seed in the Western Conference.

Mittelstadt will continue to embrace the opportunity to the fullest.