Minnesota native and incoming Gopher Hockey recruit Casey Mittelstadt could be one of the first picks taken in the NHL Draft on June 23. If he's taken in top 10, he could be the state's highest draft pick since Erik Johnson in 2006.
In the latest mock draft from SBNation.com, Mittelstadt is slated to go the Philadelphia Flyers at No. 2, NHL.com has him at No. 3 to the Dallas Stars, and Newsday.com projects he'll be Las Vegas' first pick at No. 6.
Mittelstadt won the Mr. Hockey Award at Eden Prairie after helping the Eagles reach the State Tournament. The teenager was also named USA Today's Hockey Player of the Year.
He's committed to play hockey at the University of Minnesota this winter and it seems he'll play for the Gophers regardless of where he gets picked in the draft.
Last season, Mittelstadt decided to stay for his senior year of high school which surprised many national scouts. Usually a player of his pedigree is eager to move on but he wanted one more year of playing with his childhood friends and his ultimate goal was to win a State Tournament.
He told the Pioneer Press on Monday he looks forward to being a Gopher next year and believes the U of M will have "a good team next year."
The NHL Draft will be held on June 23 from Chicago – two days after the conclusion of the expansion draft for the Las Vegas Golden Knights.