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Mittelstadt would be eligible for Amerks with AHL contract

With news that Casey Mittelstadt's college season is over, questions have poured in regarding his availability for Rochester.

There is a way he could play for the Amerks, including the playoffs, but it wouldn't be his best business decision. It could help his hockey career, though.

The Sabres' top prospect could sign an American Hockey League contract or an amateur tryout contract with Rochester. It would allow him to participate in the remainder of the regular season and playoffs, an AHL source said Monday.

Mittelstadt's leverage, however, could lead him to seek an NHL entry-level deal – if he even wants to leave school now. The University of Minnesota freshman would burn the opening season of his three-year contract by appearing in just one game for the Sabres. The team has 11 remaining, starting with Monday's visit by Nashville.

If the Sabres signed Mittelstadt to an NHL entry-level contract that begins this season, he could not be sent to the Amerks.

The ideal situation from Buffalo's standpoint would be to sign the center to an amateur tryout contract for this season and an entry-level deal that begins in 2018-19. It wouldn't be the best business move for Mittelstadt if he preferred to burn a year, but it would allow him to get professional, minor-league games under his belt before next season.

The 19-year-old's future will be of interest to Sabres fans until last year's first-round pick decides to stay in school or go pro. He would forfeit his remaining NCAA availability with a contract.

Casey Mittelstadt's freshman year is over. Is Buffalo next?

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