Buffalo Sabres youngster Casey Mittelstadt looked like he may be taking a long-awaited step forward last season with his biggest role and best offensive production yet, but an injury-riddled season has seen Mittelstadt take a step back in his development, a concerning look for the eighth-overall pick considering he’s already 23. But after sitting down with Buffalo Hockey Beat’s Bill Hoppe, Mittelstadt detailed his extensive struggle with a recurring upper-body injury this year, one that’s kept him out of the lineup at length and has caused him to be shuffled around constantly when healthy, not finding any chemistry with consistent linemates. Sabres fans will remember that Mittelstadt sustained an injury in the first period of the season, causing him to subsequently miss more than 20 games and then re-aggravate the injury soon after returning. It’s been a lengthy, trying season for the young American, but he feels as though he’s settling back into his game ahead of next season.
More from around the NHL on this Wednesday night:
- Via a cryptic tweet, it appears as though Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri is making his return to the lineup tonight after missing the entirety of April with an upper-body injury. The original hope was that Kadri would be able to recover from the injury, suffered on March 31st against the San Jose Sharks, in time for the playoffs. That goal appears to have been exceeded here, and Kadri will get the chance to add to his career-high 83 points with six games left to go in the season. The team still managed to go 7-1-0 in his absence.
- Defenseman Linus Hogberg is expected to make his NHL debut tomorrow for the Philadelphia Flyers, making him the tenth(!) player to make his NHL debut for the team this season. Hogberg is in the midst of his first full season in North America, making his AHL debut with Lehigh Valley after being recalled from a loan that had him playing in his native Sweden. The two-way defenseman actually put up more points last season there in 26 games (eight) than he has this year in 57 (seven), but the team seems to want to give their 139th overall selection back in 2016 a brief crack at the NHL.