Casey Mittelstadt signed a three-year, $7.5 million contract with the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday. It has an average annual value of $2.5 million.
The 22-year-old scored 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in 41 games last season. He had been a restricted free agent.
Mittelstadt scored 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) in 28 games after Don Granato replaced Ralph Kruger as coach March 17. He scored five points (one goal, four assists) in 13 games prior to the coaching change.
“I think a lot of guys, including myself, owe Donnie quite a bit,” Mittelstadt told the Sabres website. “He challenged me when he took over and pushed me to become a better player. I think it’s that simple. A lot of the strides I made are partly because of him pushing me or had a lot to do with him pushing me.”
Selected by the Sabres with the No. 8 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, Mittelstadt has scored 61 points (27 goals, 34 assists) in 155 games.
“I challenged Casey before last season to prove it, and to earn a spot, and to show what he’s capable of doing,” Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said. “And all he did was show up from Day One of training camp with a great attitude and put the work in. And when he did get the opportunity he kicked the door open.”
Defensemen Rasmus Dahlin and Henri Jokiharju are the Sabres’ remaining restricted free agents.