It was seven months ago that Casey Mittelstadt made headlines for double dubious distinctions.
The 2017 NHL draft prospect failed to complete a single pull-up and just one bench press at the annual combine in Buffalo.
The hometown Sabres weren’t troubled by the weak results and chose him eighth overall.
Now, Mittelstadt is lighting it up in the same city, proving himself the ultimate strongman at the 2018 World Junior Championship.
Mittelstadt dominated group play – compiling a tournament-leading nine points (4-5-9) in four games. And he didn’t pick his spots. Consider his production:
Vs. Denmark: Scored two of USA’s first five goals in 9-0 rout.
Vs. Slovakia: Scored goal of tournament late in third period to tie score 2-2.
Outdoors Vs. Canada: Assisted all three USA regulation-time goals, pushing game to overtime.
Vs. Finland: Contributed three points (1-2-3), including assist on game-winning goal late in third period.
That performance earns Mittelstadt a berth on the tsn.ca Group A all-star team and MVP honours for the round-robin portion of the tournament.
Here are all our selections:
Group A All-Star Team
Goalie: Roman Durny, Slovakia (.930 save percentage)
Defenceman: Adam Fox, USA (1-3-4)
Defenceman: Connor Timmins, Canada (plus-6)
Forward: Casey Mittelstadt, USA (4-5-9)
Forward: Brady Tkachuk, USA (2-4-6)
Forward Samuel Bucek, Slovakia (3-3-6)
Group B All-Star Team
Goalie: Filip Gustavsson, Sweden (.923 save percentage)
Defenceman: Libor Hajek, Czech Republic (1-5-6)
Defenceman: Rasmus Dahlin, Sweden (0-6-6)
Forward: Martin Necas, Czech Republic (2-4-6)
Forward Lias Andersson, Sweden (5-1-6)
Forward Klim Kostin, Russia (4-2-6)
Goalie: Roman Durny, Slovakia
Defenceman: Adam Fox, USA
Forward Casey Mittelstadt, USA
MVP: Casey Mittelstadt, USA