ALL-USA Boys Hockey Player of the Year: Casey Mittelstadt, Eden Prairie (Minn.)

ALL-USA Boys Hockey Player of the Year: Casey Mittelstadt, Eden Prairie (Minn.)

ALL-USA

ALL-USA Boys Hockey Player of the Year: Casey Mittelstadt, Eden Prairie (Minn.)

The 2015-16 American Family Insurance ALL-USA Boys Hockey Teams were selected by USA TODAY High School Sports based on performance, level of competition and strength of schedule.

FIRST TEAM: Meet the ALL-USA First Team

SECOND TEAM: Meet the ALL-USA Second Team

COACH OF THE YEAR: Bill Chase, Red River (Grand Forks, N.D.)

PRESEASON: 2015-16 ALL-USA Preseason Teams

Casey Mittelstadt, (Photo: Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune)

Casey Mittelstadt, (Photo: Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune)

PLAYER PROFILE:

Name: Casey Mittelstadt
School: Eden Prairie (Minn.)
Position: Center
Year: Junior
Height: 5-11
College: Minnesota

Eden Prairie might have fallen one win short of a Minnesota Class 2A state championship, but no player made more of an impression throughout the playoffs than Mittelstadt. The junior center notched 21 points in six postseason games, an amazing average of 3.5 points per contest.

After posting 22 goals and 37 assists in 25 regular-season games, Mittelstadt scored two goals in each of the Eagles’ three sectional playoff victories and added a total of three assists. Mittelstadt notched a goal and five assists in the state quarterfinals and a hat trick with two helpers in the state semis. He then scored one goal in the state final loss to Wayzata (Minn.). Mittelstadt registered a point in all 31 games he played this winter, and the state final was one of just five games in which he didn’t manage multiple points.

It wasn’t too hard to see this type of production coming. As one of the youngest players on the U.S. Under-18 National Team last summer, Mittelstadt tied for the tournament lead in points (three goals, four assists) at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial in the Czech Republic. He then led the Upper Midwest Elite League in scoring in the fall with 15 goals and 32 assists in 32 games.

As a junior, Mittelstadt was not eligible for the state’s Mr. Hockey award, but he was named Minnesota’s Player of the Year by the Associated Press. Having proved he can dominate at the high school level, Mittelstadt faces the same conundrum as numerous Minnesota players who have come before him: What to do as a senior?

He could return to high school and chase a state title and the illustrious title of Mr. Hockey. He could also head to the USHL where the Green Bay Gamblers own his rights. Or he could graduate early and follow through on his commitment to the University of Minnesota. He reportedly sped up his studies to put himself into position to graduate early, so he may have donned an Eden Prairie uniform for the last time. If that’s the case, he certainly went out in style.

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ALL-USA Boys Hockey Player of the Year: Casey Mittelstadt, Eden Prairie (Minn.)
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