Luke Mittelstadt, D, Shoots L, Eden Prairie Eagles, 5-11, 185, 2003-01-22
Luke is a puck moving defenseman with great instincts, and an extremely strong skater. Minnesota born defender, younger brother to Casey Mittelstadt who plays for the Buffalo Sabres, he is an outstanding, exciting player to watch from start to finish, Luke plays in every situation for Eden Prairie and he excelled in all of them. The power play he displayed his vision on multiple occasions with cross ice passes that had speed and extremely accurate. The future Golden Gopher get shots on net from the blue line with good velocity; he keeps his shot low to the ice where his teammates can redirect it, not like many kids today who want to go bar down and take off their own team’s heads. It’s impressive to watch his skating he has an extremely explosive first few steps and a great stride which gathers speed and covers a lot of distance quickly; he has great lateral mobility as well when walking the blue line. He maintains puck possession while skating with the puck and has no problem transitioning the puck into the offensive zone, Luke skates with his head up always looking to create or distribute the puck. He displays great instincts and awareness also when he decides to pinch in the offensive zone. He creates havoc for opposing players. For all his offensive abilities he’s backed that with a strong defensive game and he plays just as smart and reliable in his own end. He makes the smart play first, although he can make the finesse plays to maintain puck possession for his team rather than tossing it off the glass and down the ice. Luke has great gap control and uses his stick well, he makes good effective body checks when necessary but rarely gets caught out of position chasing a big hit. He takes up passing lanes, sacrifices his body to block shots and shows his determination and hard work ethic along the boards and in front of the net. When he has to retreat from the offensive blue line Luke has a strong push and did not have to turn around to gain speed quicker, he remained facing the puck and within a couple strides he reaches top speed still going backwards and is able to defend at his blue line, also displaying his great gap control. Luke Mittelstadt although still a few years away from draft eligibility, he will be a strong two way defender with great offensive instincts and will be bigger and stronger when he reaches the University of Minnesota.