Prior to the season, Moritz Seider was one of the most controversial prospects to my own personal evaluation. I remember watching him in his draft-minus-one year in the DNL (German junior league) and was not impressed whatsoever. I saw a defensemen with great size, but not enough aggressiveness. I didn’t feel there was enough talent to put heavy stock into.
Man, did he shut those thoughts down with a tremendous draft year. Not only did he look fantastic against men in Germany’s top pro league, he emerged as one of the future faces of German hockey. I gravitated towards his story — choosing to stay in his home country to develop, rather than traveling to North America like other former German prospects such as Leon Draisaitl. All the while, he led the national team back to the top division of the World Junior Championships, in what was an amazing story.
With such a bright future ahead of him on the ice, Seider will be an inspiration and beloved figure to the next great hockey nation.
|Birthday||April 6, 2001|
Skating: 60 – Puck Skills: 50 – Hockey IQ/Sense: 55 – Physicality: 60
Seider was a completely different player this season. He played with much more aggressiveness, something I felt eluded him the DNL. But in a limited role for Adler Mannheim, a powerhouse in the DEL, he played with poise and confidence. He wasn’t as hesitant to come out of his comfort zone as he once was. At heart, Seider is a committed two-way defender. He isn’t about abandoning his post to create offense. He does it cohesively and picks his spots very smartly.
One of the key attributes I misevaluated was his skating. The kid’s wheels are the real deal. A mobile 6’4” behemoth on skates is a scary sight. His puck skills are nothing special, but it really doesn’t matter — he can steamroll anyone in his path. Physicality wise he is just a beast, I mean, how many 207 lb players can move at a high level? Not many.
His skating is also a weapon on the defensive end of the ice. He is incredibly quick moving backwards, which makes for better gap control and staying with the fastest players on the other team.
As a whole defensively Seider is a monster. His positioning and gap control both get high marks. He has the strength to push players off the puck and win board battles, which was especially evident with him playing against men this past season. He has the makeup to be an absolute horse at the NHL level, in which I can reasonably see him being able to handle twenty-five minutes or more a night.
For me, I need to see some sort of offensive impact to justify taking defensemen whose main strong suit is defense in the first round. While not high-end, Seider can make plays offensively to give his skating a reason for existence. I like his hockey IQ to recognize his teammates with good vision, but he doesn’t have the creativity to make high skill plays. Like I said before, he picks his spots very well, so he is not typically in the position to rely on his puck skills.
When joining the rush as a non-puck carrier he is very efficient with both of his goals this season being a direct result of him stepping up, which can be seen in the video above.
The numbers in his league play are not staggering — recording 2 goals and 6 points in 29 regular season games — but he progressively got better as the season went on, scoring 5 points in 14 playoff games. But where Seider really shined was on the international stage. The highlight of his season was leading German’s under-20 team to gold at the World Junior Championship B Division, in turn promoting them to the A pool. Seider was without a doubt the heart and soul of that team.
Seider wasn’t done representing his home nation there. To close out his draft year he played on Germany’s national team at the IIHF World Championships. He was excellent, further confirming how mature of a player he is, however, I wouldn’t say it taught us anything new about the 2019 eligible prospect.
I can tell you this would be one hell of a prospect to add to any pipeline. Seider has legitimate top pair upside in which he can be a minute-munching blue-liner who can also be used for match-ups. But the reason for why Seider lands in the mid first round is because of the type of impact he’ll bring. I feel strongly he’ll be a staple in any NHL top-pair because of his defensive prowess and skating ability, but he’ll be scoring more around 30 points a season instead of 50 plus. He won’t be your first option to run the powerplay either — he just isn’t dynamic enough. And that’s not to call him a safe pick — Seider can still bring a strong impact to both sides of the game.
Ultimately I settled with him at 20, because I feel the players ahead of him can provide a little more offensive impact. But I have no doubt Seider is a first round talent. Having one of the best stories in the draft as the next great player to come from Germany is just a bonus.
I am very excited to see where Seider goes from here. He can certainly make the move to North America, with the NHL not being out of the question for the 2019-20 season. He is physically mature enough to step in and quick enough to handle the speed. But I prefer to be patient with my prospects. There is no harm in sending him to the AHL or even by returning to Germany for that matter. He is in a great spot and has a variety of options.
If eligible and allowed, Seider will not just represent, but captain Team Germany at the next World Juniors. It will demonstrate his hard work in achieving such a major accomplishment. The World Juniors will be the starting point for putting German hockey on the map, after making great strides at the 2018 Olympics.