It has been a tough first few professional seasons for Sabres forward Casey Mittelstadt. A productive forward in his lone college campaign, the 22-year-old hasn’t been able to have much success offensively since turning pro. However, he has spent most of his eight games with Buffalo on the wing this season instead of his natural center position with head coach Ralph Krueger telling Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald that he’s pleased with Mittelstadt’s progress so far. Krueger went as far as stating that Mittelstadt “looks to be crystalizing into more of a winger than a centerman”, something that may wind up being best for him down the road. While he was drafted to play down the middle, Jack Eichel and Dylan Cozens are their one-two punch for the future and with Mittelstadt being waiver-eligible next season, Buffalo needs to find a permanent spot for him in their lineup before too long. If that’s the wing, that’s a better outcome than him languishing down the middle.
Elsewhere in the East Division:
- The Rangers activated defenseman Jacob Trouba off injured reserve, USA Today’s Vincent Z. Mercogliano was among those to note (Twitter link). The blueliner had missed the last eight games due to a thumb injury and actually came back quicker than expected. Initially given a four-to-six-week recovery timeline, Trouba missed only three weeks of action. New York will be expecting more from him offensively though as he has just three assists (and no goals) in 14 games heading into tonight’s contest. To make room for Trouba on the roster, Artemi Panarin was designated as a non-roster player as his leave of absence continues.
- Boston defenseman Kevan Miller is expected to resume skating sometime this coming week, relays Eric Russo of the Bruins’ team website. Miller was placed on IR midway through last month as his surgically-repaired knee was acting up but it appears that rest was all that was needed. The 33-year-old has played in 15 games this season and is averaging 18:39 per game but given the recurrence of pain in that knee, the team may be better off giving him a smaller workload when he is able to return.