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2019 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Get to know German defenseman Moritz Seider

German players aren’t selected in the first round very often, but Moritz Seider could be one of the rare exceptions.

Germany v Slovakia: Group A - 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Slovakia Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images

Moritz Seider has established himself as one of Germany’s brightest hockey talents and a top defender for the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Seider could very well prove to be a steal if he falls in the draft, but with his recent play in the IIHF World Championship and the DEL playoffs, it’s looking more and more unlikely that he will fall to the bottom of the first round or the early second round of the draft.

Seider spent the 2018-2019 season playing in the DEL, the top hockey league in Germany. Seider was the second-youngest player to play a game in the DEL this season. In the DEL, his point totals were not exceptional by any means. He recorded just a pair of goals and four assists in 29 games. Although this might not seem overly impressive, it is important to note that he did this as a 17-year old (just turned 18 on April 6) and as a defenseman who played an average of 12:13 per game.

Seider was a solid two-way defender this season. His success on both ends of the ice earned him DEL rookie of the year honors. In addition, he also finished the 2018-2019 season as a DEL champion. His team, Adler Mannheim, won the championship and Seider played a significant role for his team. Seider almost matched his regular-season point total during the playoffs with five assists in 14 games. He did this despite a slight decrease in his average time on ice per game with 11:49 and 17 shifts per game on average.

He recently took part in the IIHF World Championship for Germany, and he stood out. Seider showed a different side to his game playing against men, many of whom are NHL players. In the DEL, he scored only two goals in the regular season and none during the playoffs. For Team Germany, however, he showed his offensive abilities with two goals in four games.

Seider was not known in the DEL for making a big offensive impact. But at the World Championship, he showed that he can be a reliable two-way defenseman against stronger competition. In the goal shown above, you see a Patrick Hager knock the puck loose from a player from team France, which is picked up by Geritt Fauser. Seider was ready to join the rush and receive the pass for the breakaway. Seider showed off his quick release and speed on the play and put the puck right over the goaltenders catcher to score a highlight-reel goal for his second of the tournament. His confidence and hockey IQ was evident throughout the championships. This goal alone shows the confidence he must have, especially for an 18-year old defenseman to join the rush for a breakaway instead of staying in position.

Seider is a big defenseman, standing at 6-foot-4 and 198 pounds. His size helps him in the defensive zone, allowing him to play more of a physical game when necessary. Although many defenders of a similar mold tend to lack mobility, Seider is not one of them. He is a skilled skater who can turn on the jets to join the rush when a situation presents itself. He is quick on his feet and his acceleration is especially strong. Seider has great lateral movement and his edge work allows him to stick to his man like glue and move quickly to follow the play.

In regard to his offensive abilities, there is a lot to unpack there. His skating is one of his biggest assets while on the attack. He is fantastic at zone entries and possesses a good shot with a quick release and solid accuracy. He is quick to switch from defense to offense and has a very good hockey IQ. Seider makes a great first pass and routinely uses his vision to create scoring chances.

It’s very possible that Seider could fall to the Vegas Golden Knights at No. 17. With Brannstrom traded, the Knights may feel obligated to replenish their crop of defensive prospects. Seider combines size and skill, which makes him a valuable asset for many teams. He may take a few years to develop into a full-time NHLer, but when he does, he has the potential to become a solid two-way defenceman in the NHL.