ETOBICOKE, Ontario — Casey Mittelstadt said he's not worrying about potentially beginning the season as the Sabres' No. 2 center.
"I guess I try not to think about it too much," Mittelstadt, the team's 2017 first-round draft pick, said Sunday at the NHLPA Rookie Showcase. "It's just go and play hockey and wherever they put me, they put me. I'm going to go out and do my best, try to play my game, and obviously you've got to work hard and you’ve got to earn it. I’m going to try to do that first and then take it from there."
Mittelstadt received his first NHL experience late last season, when he scored a goal and recorded five points in six games. He played his freshman season for the University of Minnesota before signing with the Sabres.
"That was definitely huge for me," Mittelstadt said of getting NHL experience. "I think just figuring out everything off the ice, like getting to the plane and how guys get ready for games and when the meetings are, things like that. That was the biggest part for me. And then obviously you get to play in the games and be on the ice and see what it’s like."