Avalanche re-sign Casey Mittelstadt to three-year contract

Colorado Avalanche center Casey Mittelstadt signed a three-year contract with the team Tuesday.

Terms were not disclosed, but a team source told ESPN that Mittelstadt will earn $5.75 million annually.

Getting Mittelstadt, who was to be a restricted free agent, signed to a new deal was one of the biggest priorities for an Avalanche team that's two years removed from winning the Stanley Cup.

The Avalanche acquired him in a deadline day trade from the Buffalo Sabres in a move that saw defenseman Bowen Byram, who the Avs drafted with the fourth pick of the 2019 NHL draft, head in the other direction.

Mittelstadt's arrival gave the Avalanche a second-line center -- a position they had struggled to fill with longevity after Nazem Kadri signed with the Calgary Flames in free agency after they won the Cup.

Mittelstadt scored four goals and 10 points in 18 games with the Avalanche. As for the entirety of the regular season, he scored a career-high 18 goals between the Avs and Sabres while his 57 points in 80 games were two shy of tying his personal best of 59 points from the 2022-23 season.

Mittelstadt's cameo set him up for what was his first postseason. He finished with three goals and nine assists in 11 games to help the Avalanche reach the Western Conference semifinals. Mittelstadt scored two goals and three points before the Avs fell in six games to the Dallas Stars.

With Mittelstadt, 25, re-signed, the Avalanche can now turn their attention toward strengthening a roster that has Hart Trophy finalist Nathan MacKinnon, Norris Trophy finalist Cale Makar and All-Star winger Mikko Rantanen, who is heading into the final season of his contract.

CapFriendly projects the Avalanche to have $10.466 million in salary cap space with Jonathan Drouin and Sean Walker part of the club's seven-player unrestricted free agent class.