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2019 NHL Draft prospect profile: Moritz Seider brings a professional pedigree

The German defenceman is coming off a championship.

City-Press via Getty Images

Moritz Seider may be one of the more intriguing prospects in the top part of the NHL Draft. The German defenceman could end up being the highest drafted German-born-and-trained defenceman in NHL history.

Willie Huber was born in Germany and was taken ninth overall in 1978 by the Detroit Red Wings, but Huber played most of his hockey growing up in Canada. The highest picked German-raised defenceman was Uli Hiemer, 48th overall in 1981 by the Colorado Rockies. Seider is expected to be chosen in the first round.

Birthplace: Zell (Mosel), Germany
Shoots: Right
Position: Defenceman
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 198 lbs.
Team: Adler Mannheim (DEL)

Anytime you are in your first year of being draft eligible and you are playing significant minutes in a men’s league is notable. The German DEL is not necessarily the strongest league, but the fact that Seider was able to hold his own is a notable achievement. And Adler Mannheim wasn’t a league also-ran that could afford to take on young players. They won the German championship this season.

Seider played 29 games for Mannheim in the regular season scoring two goals and adding four assists. In 14 playoff games, he had five assists.

EliteProspects

He was also the captain of the German U20 team at the Division 1A World Junior Championship. He had a goal and six assists in five games at the tournament as he helped the Germans win promotion to the main group next year. No matter when he is drafted, he will likely lead the German team again at next year’s championship in the top division. The World Junior tournament was his first action after suffering a shoulder injury, and he showed no rust.

Being a captain at 17 at what is considered a 19-year-old tournament is notable, and even though it was at a lower division, gave scouts what they needed to see. What you want to see in prospects who play with men is that they show improvement and confidence when they go back to playing with their age group, and Seider definitely checked off those boxes.

The thing that sticks out when you watch Seider play is his combination of size and poise. Many coaches and scouts that watch him play say he plays like a veteran. It helps that he already looks like a veteran. Many times scouts have to project growth spurts and hope players will be able to add weight as they develop. At 6’4” and almost 200lbs, there’s already a lot less imagining to do with Seider.

Seider is an all around player, who projects to play in all situations, including the penalty kill and the power play. His all around toolbox projects to be one of the best in the class among defencemen, but he lacks that one elite skill that sticks out above the rest.

He can skate well, he shows good instincts on both ends of the ice, and he has the ability to finish plays.

There are some durability concerns when it comes to Seider as well. The injury that kept him out before the World Juniors was a shoulder injury, and he missed time later in the season due to an injury to that same shoulder. It could be a coincidence, or due to him perhaps returning too early, but any potential red flag can come back to haunt you come draft day.

He will probably be one of the more watched prospects at the scouting combine in Buffalo.

Like any young prospect playing in a men’s league the statistics aren’t going to overwhelm you in most cases. It is a men’s league for a reason, and for most teenagers it’s a testament to their ability just to stick. He was understandably sheltered at the beginning of the season, but took more and more responsibilities as the season went on.

By the end of the season, he was playing top-four minutes on one of the top teams in the league. His program in Mannheim also has some very good development resources so he would not be lacking in that department either. He also didn’t get to show off his power play abilities, although he did get some time there throughout the season.

Scouts didn’t necessarily get a last look at him against his peers at the Under-18 World Championships either, because while the tournament was going on, he was on his way to winning a championship in the DEL.

Rankings (not all rankings are final)

Elite Prospects: #17
Future Considerations: #17
Hockey Prospect: #11
McKeen’s Hockey: #26
McKenzie/TSN: #21
NHL Central Scouting: #6 (European skaters)

Seider’s draft position should rival some of the top German-born picks of all time. Since 2001, there have been three Germans selected in the first round of the NHL Draft. Leon Draisaitl was third overall in 2014, Dominik Bokk was 18th overall in 2018, and Marcel Goc was 20th overall in 2001. But all three of those were forwards.

Ironically, Goc was drafted several months after Seider was born and the two were teammates in Mannheim this past season.

For Seider, the way he performs at the combine could have him sneak into the top half of the first round, but he shouldn’t have to wait long to have his name called. Coming out of Europe, he has the added flexibility of being able to go to the AHL, or even the OHL where Owen Sound owns his rights.