2019 NHL Draft Preview – Moritz Seider, German Defenseman

Throughout the early part of our 2019 NHL Draft Preview series we’ve focused more heavily on players likely to be selected among the first 10 names called in Vancouver later this month. Now, with most of the bigger names already covered, we turn our attention to some key prospects hoping to find an NHL home among teams picking in the middle and late first round. Just as those franchises who will need to look a little deeper down their list, the group at MayorsManor is also scouring the next tier of players who could make the walk to the stage on Friday, June 21.

In the article below, we take a look at a German defenseman who found success with his club team this past season, capturing both the best record during the regular seasons and they were the eventual playoff champions in Germany.

This player in particular may not have been scouted as much as other skaters in different European countries, yet he’s not quite in the Anze Kopitar-vein, where he’s fighting to become the first NHL player from his native land. Several Germans have made their mark in the world’s best hockey league over the past few decades, they’re just somewhat few and far between. As with Kopitar, though, just don’t confuse him playing in a secondary league to mean he’s a secondary talent.  

MORITZ SEIDER

Vitals

Date of Birth: April 6, 2001
Height: 6’3
Weight: 208 lbs
Shoots: Right
Position: Defense

2018-19 Season

Seider spent his entire 2018-19 season with Adler Mannheim in Germany, posting six points (2 G, 4 A) in 29 regular season games. He later added five assists in 14 playoff matches. The big blueliner also represented his native Germany on the international stage in multiple tournaments, including captaining the Under-20 D1A World Junior Championship team – where he was tied for second in team scoring with seven points (1 G, 6 A) over five games. Collectively, that group also won a gold medal. Seider’s year eventually ended playing against men once again, leading his defense with two goals in five tilts; he also missed three games due to a concussion after former Kings player Ladislav Nagy hit him from behind.

You’ve Been Sturm’d

When Seider played for Germany at the 2018 World Junior Championships in France. And who was the General Manager for that squad? None other than current Kings assistant coach Marco Sturm.

Non-Attacking Eagle

Being selected in the second round (105th overall) of the 2018 CHL Import Draft by the Owen Sound Attack — a team LA Assistant GM Mike Futa used to run — wasn’t quite enough to get Seider to cross the pond this past season. Rather than play in North America, he instead opted to stay with Adler (which is German for Eagle). Interestingly enough, the Kings have a few obscure players and picks who bore the same crest in Germany at some point of their careers – guys like Cristobal Huet, Yanick Lehoux, and Steven Reinprecht. 

Should Seider choose to come over for the 2019-20 season, it is believed he’ll have the flexibility to play for Owen Sound (OHL), in the AHL, or NHL.

A Subtle Reminder

The Kings have a history of inviting players from Germany to participate in various training camps. AEG owns the Berlin Polar Bears and some of their notable members have spent time in SoCal at the organization’s annual Development Camp. While Seider has not been one of the attendees, their scouts have seen him play multiple times in Europe and are believed to have interviewed him recently, just prior to the NHL Draft Combine.

Rankings by Independent Scouting Services

  • 18th by The Draft Analyst. In a separate article, Steve Kournianos wrote, “A big, smooth-skating German blueliner with physicality, sound instincts and leadership qualities, Seider, when given the opportunity, has handled a top-four role against adult-age competition with aplomb. His dominant play in all three zones at the IIHF’s first division under-20 world juniors not only led Germany to the title that vaulted them into the top bracket for next year’s tournament, but also reinforced his standing as a first-round quality prospect with legitimate top-pairing potential at the highest level. One of Seider’s most noticeable qualities is how smart he is with or without the puck. Blessed with an acute sense to predict the opponent’s intentions, Seider quickly transitions from standing up at the blue line like a brick wall, to a quick poke and pass that leads his mates to a counterattack. His physicality, reach and quick feet combine to make the majority of 1-on-1 attempts die quickly above the circles. Additionally, Seider will fix a puck carrier into the corner for either a low-percentage centering attempt or a smothering check into the boards. Cross-ice passes originating from the strong side get broken up with regularity, and you can make a strong case for Seider being the best in his draft class at owning and maintaining positioning in the low slot.”
  • 23rd by Last Word On Sports, concluding with: “Seider is a bit of a project but one that has a high-end upside. He is a real boom or bust type of player. The combination of size, offensive skills, physicality, and mobility mean that the sky is the limit. If he is able to reach his ceiling, he could become a franchise defender. However, Seider’s game is unpolished at this point and getting him to reach that level is no guarantee. It will take time, patience, and a real commitment to continued development. In terms of stylistic comparison, Seider’s game is similar to a mix of Zach Werenski and Seth Jones. This is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill or ability.”
  • 15th by McKeen’s Hockey, who noted things like Seider gained responsibility on his primary team as the regular season moved along; wherever he has played, he has always demonstrated a game that was beyond his years; and he can carry the puck out, but his exit passes are especially impressive. It should also be noted that McKeens had him at No. 26 in the second-to-last update, so he jumped significantly when their final rankings were released.

See For Yourself

Here are a few video snippets of Seider’s season:

Final Comments

While Seider may not come across as a sexy pick — especially because he has not been playing in one of the more well-known North American leagues — there is little argument to him being a first round talent. Along with his size, a close look at the myriad of competition he faced all year long, including representing Germany at the World Championships, speak to the mature nature of  his game on the ice. Only Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko can say they played in the same tournament as an 18 year-old. Seider also carries additional value as a right-handed defenseman.

At this point, perhaps the only question is if he’ll still be there by the time the Kings get to make their second selection of the day, coming at pick No. 22 of the first round.

NOTE: Author David Hofreiter can be found on Twitter @Davidenkness if you’re interested in talking more hockey with him or asking further questions about this player.

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