Red Wings fans have had June 21 circled on the calendar for quite some time. Following the draft lottery the Detroit faithful has been dialed in on players expected to go in the 5-10 range. So when general manager Steve Yzerman made the selection of German defensemen Moritz Seider, projected to go in the mid first round, with the sixth overall pick, the reactions were mixed to say the least.
Seider himself was surprised to hear his name called so early. His reaction says it all.
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) June 22, 2019
“I’m still shocked. It’s an unreal moment and it was so nice to share that moment with my family.” Seider told WingsNation. “We saw a couple of rankings, I wasn’t that high on any of them. I’m just excited and it’s an unreal moment.”
This draft pick makes for a historic selection. Seider is the highest drafted player to come out of the DEL ever. Most top German prospects have developed else where in their draft seasons, with more recent examples being Leon Draisaitl and Dominik Bokk. Seider is a unique case because he chose to stay in his home country.
Taking that leap of faith is such an Yzerman move. The risk of targeting a player from an unknown developmental league is high. Combined with the fact that he appeared to leave better, more polished players on the board. It seems many had their hearts set on one of the big names, but that shouldn’t create doubt in Seider’s abilities. What he brings is high-end skating ability in a massive body. He defends extremely well, projecting to play big, tough minutes in the NHL. The knock on his game, however, is a lack of dynamic puck skills. Nevertheless, he had an excellent season playing against men.
For the full breakdown of his game:
By making Seider a top-10 pick, Detroit is hoping he can anchor their defense for years to come. The Red Wings defensive corps is among the worst in the league with their biggest hopes previously being Filip Hronek and Dennis Cholowski. In Seider they get a legitimate top prospect on the back-end, something the club hasn’t had in a very long time.
If Seider can unlock some of his offensive game this pick could look like a home run in a few years. Defenders with his size, skating ability, and sound defensive play don’t grow on trees. He has real potential to be a top-pair defenseman because of his ability to handle 20 plus minutes a game. The hope will be if he can develop into a better scorer to justify the top-10 selection.
There were some rumblings of Detroit trading back to get better value on the Seider pick. Speculation revolved around the host Vancouver Canucks who held the 10th slot, but nothing materialized, thus forcing Detroit to nab their guy in their original spot. The belief is another team in the top-15 was also targeting Seider, which obviously forced Yzerman’s hand.
I have a hunch that Philadelphia was the other team high on the German blue-liner. Detroit most likely considered the 10th spot as a last option because the Flyers were sitting in the 11th spot. Once Seider was gone, Philadelphia would end up trading back, presumably because they missed out on Seider. Also telling is they took another D-man in Cam York of the U.S. Program after trading down.
But no matter, that is a now a moot point. Seider is now a Red Wing, being the next piece to the puzzle of an extensive rebuilding process in Motown, and the first significant decision made amidst the Yzerman era. This new management group did their homework and obviously saw something in him. “We had a couple of good meetings with Detroit and Steve Yzerman wanted to know every single thing about me.” Seider said.
All we can do now is be patient. Time will tell if Seider was a successful pick or not, as is the same for any other draft pick. We all have our own opinions, but for now, there is a lot to get excited about. Just remember to trust the “YzerPlan.”