GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Smack! The sound of pucks hitting the pipes of the goalie’s cage, the glass of the ice rink, fill the air during Gamblers practice. Young men hoping for a shot at the big leagues on Green Bay’s squad practice for the final push of the regular season before playoffs. One of them is John Mittelstadt, a young man who’s family name is synonymous with hockey.
His older brother Casey Mittelstadt was a first round NHL draft pick back in 2017 when he played for the Gamblers. For John, it’s an honor to get to play on the same team his brother did.
“Casey’s such an unbelievable hockey player and I look up to him so much. He means the world to me. That’s where, I’ve been watching him and learning from him,” John said with a grin.
Gamblers coach Pat Mikesch says John has the same tenacity his brother had.
“Johnny’s got a lot of the same offensive intangibles with his skating and the way he attacks the net and they both had great releases to shoot the puck,” Mikesch said.
However, the drive to be the best doesn’t end with Casey and John. They have a younger brother Luke, and he also plays hockey.
“Obviously, I learn from my little brother too, who’s also a really good player. We all just compete with each other all the time, in anything, basically and that’s a big thing too,” John said with a chuckle.
His head coach echoed his statements.
“They’re a very competitive family. All three boys, they compete and they want to get better every day, so Casey was kind of the ringleader in that and he kind of set a standard for how his brothers are going to play the game,” Mikesch said.
The Mittelstadt’s don’t only have the Gamblers hockey team as a legacy to live up to. John will be following his brother Casey’s footsteps in college as well, playing for the Minnesota Gophers.
“We grew up going to Minnesota games our whole life. It meant everything to us. Obviously being from Minnesota, it’s huge, watching them play and seeing the band.. I’m so excited to go there.”