NHL Mock Draft 2017: Dallas Stars Select Casey Mittelstadt

Most may have expected Dallas to go defense, but play-making centers are an organizational weakness too.

The Dallas Stars hit the lottery (pun fully intended) when their combination of numbers came up and they moved from the late top-end of the draft to 3rd overall. It’s the highest draft pick they’ve had since relocating to Dallas — and the highest since they drafted Mike Modano first overall as a Minnesota North Star.

Yes, it’s sometimes hard to forget that the Stars had a combination of success and first round picks traded away for a good majority of the 2000s.

There’s an argument that the Stars will take the best defensemen, Miro Heiskanen, at this spot. It’s a solid argument, and honestly after Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick go in the top two, there are a number of prospects that are ranked fairly closely. It’ll come down to organizational need for many of the teams picking in the 3 to 10 range.

After a few conversations with teams looking to potentially move up in the draft to take the top defensemen, no trades for the 3rd overall pick came even close to happening in our SBN mock draft. So...

With the 3rd overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, the Dallas Stars are proud to select USHL/USHS center Casey Mittelstadt.

Casey Mittelstadt NHL draft scouting report | SB Nation 2017 N...

Let's play SB Nation NHL Draft Match! Up next, it's Minnesota's Casey Mittelstadt! ❤️ or 😡?

Posted by SB Nation NHL on Thursday, May 25, 2017

Yes, Dallas has an organizational depth issue on left defense. But there’s another hole in the organization that many are missing because they’re hung up on the fact that Dallas needs defense now to get back to being contenders. Dallas lacks a playmaking center in its system that projects to be a 2C. Considering the age of Jason Spezza, the question of who will play 2C in three, four, five seasons doesn’t have a clear answer.

Mittelstadt gives Dallas options later down the line. His offensive game is what he is known for, but Mittelstadt also plays a mature 200-foot game for his age — a skillset that doesn’t exist in combination in today’s prospect system in Dallas.

He has excellent skating and speed, and a shot that has the ability to be deceptive from anywhere on the ice. One of the common criticisms of his scoring is that a high percentage of his points come on the powerplay.

But so does Tyler Seguin’s. And Jamie Benn’s. And John Klingberg’s. We’ll take elite scoring any day of the week and twice on Sunday.


Keep up with all the action of the SB Nation mock draft!

SB Nation NHL Mock Draft 2017

1. New Jersey Devils, via All About The Jersey, select center Nico Hischier
2. Philadelphia Flyers, via Broadstreet Hockey, select center Patrick Nolan