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Top 25 Under 25: Wings 2019 Top Pick Moritz Seider Lands at #9

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The 6th overall pick makes a lofty debut in the rankings

2019 NHL Draft - Portraits Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

Position: Defense
Shoots: Right
Height & Weight: 6’3”, 208 lbs
Drafted: 2019, 1st Round, 6th Overall
Birth: April 6, 2001, 18 years old, Zell, Germany

Stats

eliteprospects.com

What Earned Him This Ranking?

With the 2019 draft in the rear view mirror, it’s time to put the takes on if Seider was a reach or not to rest. The bottom line is he is still one of the best prospects in the Red Wings system and is set up to be a potential defensive cornerstone in the future. What has vaulted Seider towards the top of the prospect pool is that he has demonstrated already as a young player that he provides an all-around good skill set. How you’ll often see Seider described in scouting reports is that he is a smooth and quick skater who is able to make plays when under pressure using a strong hockey IQ. He makes those outlet passes that can quickly get the puck moving toward the offensive zone. What you’ll also see is that for a young player he is steady defensively, maintaining strong gap control, and good positioning while defending either off the rush or in the defensive zone. Seider also already has quite a bit of size to him standing at 6’3” and over 200 lbs with a long reach to knock pucks away. While not the first skill noted in any reports, there are mentions that he possesses a decent shot and an ability to jump into the offensive rush when an opportunity presents itself. What perhaps separates Seider from other defensive prospects is he doesn’t carry the label that he needs to work on his defensive positioning, gap control, etc. Most young defenseman initially have work to do on their abilities in their own end before they can hope to make an NHL roster. Hearing the way Seider is described is what you often hear teams need more of on their back end, a steady hand at the wheel who can quickly get pucks out of their zone and maintain positioning and control oncoming rushes. Essentially a player who may go unnoticed throughout a game, but in this case is a very good thing, and perhaps what the Red Wings are missing.

What Does He Need to Improve?

What makes Seider a strong prospect is also somewhat ironically what gives some pause about where he projects. While he is a well-rounded defenseman with no glaring weaknesses, he doesn’t necessarily have a specific skill or attribute that screams elite, at this point anyway. Yes his floor appears to be very high, but can his ceiling improve? In particular you would like to see his offensive abilities and output improve. Last season he produced only 2 goals and 4 assists in 29 games, albeit in the top professional league in Germany playing against men, with former NHLers among them. Reports indicate that he does have the ability to chip in offensively, but he’s not going to set the world on fire offensively. His numbers in international play do show that he may indeed have some solid offensive ability but he needs to show that with regularity this upcoming season. In particular the hope would be for him to get some time quarterbacking a powerplay unit and improving his shot to make it more of a weapon.

What to Expect From Him?

Moritz Seider will likely never be a top level powerplay quarterback or set the league pace for points by defensemen. But what he does offer is a well-rounded player who can play in all situations and take on the tough minutes against the top opposition players. He also appears to be the type of player that will help drive play the right direction with his ability to get the puck quickly up to his teammates and strong intelligence reading the play. You can envision him one day being the steady do it all partner to the flashy Hronek or Cholowski. Many reports describe him as a surefire top 4 defenseman, but the question will be if he can elevate himself to a top pairing role that this team desperately needs?

In terms of his immediate future, you likely won’t see him donning the Winged Wheel this season but it could be sooner rather than later. Seider already is developing himself among other pros and his timeline would seem to project him making the jump sooner than most draft picks. But where he plays in the mean time is very much up in the air. He could stay home in Germany playing for Adler Mannheim for another season further honing his skills. He may also make the jump to the AHL, facing better competition. But the same log jam happening in Detroit may keep him from getting the needed minutes in Grand Rapids. Another option includes the OHL playing for the Owen Sound Attack who own his rights, but that would certainly be a step backward in competition from where he plays now in Germany. Bet on seeing him start the season in Germany and crossing over to play in Grand Rapids either during their playoff run or sooner if ice time becomes available.