Avalanche Sign Eighth Overall Pick to Three-Year Extension

The Minnesota native began his sixth NHL season with the Sabres, having been their eighth pick in 2017.

His early years were disappointing, never hitting 30 points in a season.

But in 2022-23, Mittelstadt shined with 15 goals and 59 points, playing all 82 games and boosting the Sabres’ offense to third in the league.

Despite missing the playoffs by one point, it was a big step for him. He seemed set to be part of Buffalo’s core trio with Cozens and Thompson. However, injuries to Thompson and drops in form from Cozens, Skinner, and Tuch hurt their momentum. Mittelstadt didn’t slow down; he had his best year yet with strong possession stats and career-highs in goals and points over fewer games.

Trade Rumors and New Beginnings

As his three-year bridge deal neared its end, Mittelstadt was poised for a raise. With other prospects coming up, he became trade bait. Colorado saw an opportunity . They traded Bowen Byram for Mittelstadt to fill their second-line center gap left by Kadri’s departure.

J.T. Compher tried but left for free agency after a breakout year. Ross Colton and Ryan Johansen also couldn’t fill that role effectively. Johansen especially struggled after being acquired from Nashville at half cap hit but only managed 23 points in 63 games.

Fans might think this trade is exactly what Colorado needed.

Adams found a willing partner in MacFarland; they swapped Byram for Mittelstadt in a rare one-for-one deal that quickly showed results. Though it took some time to adjust to Denver, Mittelstadt ended the season with four goals and six assists in just 18 games.

Playoff Performance

In his first playoff run, Mittelstadt excelled with three goals and nine points over 11 games while averaging over 17 minutes per game on ice. His strong shot attempts during both regular season and playoffs showed he had what it takes for top-six pivot responsibilities on a contending team like Colorado.

Now signed through at least the 2026-27 season at market value (a bit less than projected), he’s locked into that second-line center role.

With $10.5M projected cap space remaining according to CapFriendly—and not counting Nichushkin’s $6.125M cap hit due to suspension—Colorado still has room for moves even as Landeskog aims to return next year after knee surgeries sidelined him two seasons straight .

What do you think about this trade?

Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson is a Senior Writer for HockeyMonitor. With a background in Sports Media, Alex joined the team in 2022. He focuses on providing the latest hockey news, game scores, and fresh NHL trade rumors.

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