Moritz Seider played 16 minutes and 22 seconds in his SHL debut with Rogle BK on Thursday, and afterward, he spoke with Rogle’s website regarding his first competitive hockey game in 7 months. Seider also spoke with Hockeysverige.se’s Mans Karlsson for a wide-ranging profile, which follows in roughly translated form:
How the super talent wound up in Angelholm
Just over a year ago, he was selected sixth overall in the draft. Now German super talent Moritz Seider can be found in Rogle. He tells Hockeysverige.se about his first time in Sweden, and about the countryman who assured him that Angelholm was the right place to be.
It was the big draft shock of 2019, when Detroit picked Moritz Seider as the sixth player overall. Everyone agreed that the German would go relatively early, maybe in the top 15, but no one had him ranked so highly in the draft.
But Steve Yzerman picked the big defenseman at sixth–at the time, sixth was the second-earliest German player ever selected. Leon Draisaitl, who won the points title and was named the NHL’s MVP this season, went third five years earlier. This year, Tim Stuetzle was also selected third, by Ottawa. In addition, Lukas Reichel went to Chicago seventeenth and John-Jason Peterka went 34th to Buffalo. This year, Seider’s SHL acquaintance, Dominik Bokk, was chosen at the end of the first round, 25th, by St. Louis.
One can safely say that Germany, which took silver at the 2018 Olympics, is on its way to becoming a hockey country to be reckoned with. Moritz Seider has a theory as to why this has happened.
“You probably have to go back a few years to see how it may have turned out this way. I think it all started when Marco Sturm joined the national team and took over [as its GM], and brought a lot of new personnel to the staff. They changed significantly. In addition, the U20 national team went up to Group A in the World Junior Championship, and then World Junior Championship did the same, and the Olympics were a big thing [in 2018] when we took silver and that surprised everyone. Many General Managers in Germany have begun to dare to lift young German players thanks to it. We have many skilled players and now they get the chance to show that they can contribute. I am very excited to see how far we can go,” he says to Hockeysverige.se after he made his SHL debut in Rogle’s jersey.
SEIDER’S VIEW OF SWEDEN
Seider was played relatively sparingly in his Rögle premiere. He played just over 16 minutes of playing time and got to play alongside star defender Éric Gélinas. However, he more or less played just in five versus five play.
Rögle were totally superior against Brynäs and out-shot them 43-14–but still lost 2-1.
“On a good day, we score four or five goals tonight, and win the game. But I’m very happy with how we played. Everyone fought and toiled and we played good hockey. We can take a lot from this game,” the 19-year-old states.
For your own part then, was there anything that surprised you?
“I expected that there would be a lot of skating, and that kind of game. That was exactly it, too. So nothing crazy,” says Seider and he continues:
“It was good speed, good intensity and good battles around goals and in the corners. It is noticeable that all players work really hard here.”
What did you know about Swedish hockey and the SHL before you came here?
” knew that there was a lot of skating, and that there would be many slightly smaller and very cunning players. Everyone is good with the puck and is good at finding solutions and finding teammates with good passes. I also know that you have to be careful with the stick because the judges are quick to take slashing penalties,” says the Rogle defenseman with a crooked smile.
Although he is still a junior, Moritz Seider is experienced to say the least. He has won a German championship with Adler Mannheim, he has played a senior world championship, he has been team captain in a world junior championship and has also played a season with the Grand Rapids Griffins in the AHL. Yesterday’s game in the Rogle jersey was, however, his first in six months, after a difficult summer and a rough autumn.
“I clearly felt that I did not have anything at the end. I have not played a game since March, so it was a while ago, you could say. But the guys took good care of me, and it has been so much fun to work with everyone here. I think it will feel better and better as the season goes on.”
THE LINGERING UNCERTAINTY
Given the uncertainty surrounding the AHL season, the idea was that Seider would play at home in Germany, for Adler Mannheim, this season. But when the start of the German league was postponed time and time again, the defensive talent realized that it was not a sustainable situation to wait for the start of the season. The situation was difficult for the German, who says that it was mentally difficult to prepare for a season when he didn’t know when it would start.
“It was difficult to aim for a goal when you do not know when it will happen. I skated around and did not know when the next game would be.”
Was it hard mentally?
“Yes, at certain times. During the pre-season, it can be difficult to motivate yourself every day and get the most out of each workout. But I had good teammates around me in Mannheim and it helped.”
“Now I am very happy and grateful, and proud, to get the chance from Rogle and get to wear that jersey. I hope I can pay it back by contributing to the team.”
DOMINIC BOKK’S WORD TAKEN
But how did it really happen that one of the world’s greatest defensive talents end up in Sweden-in Angelholm? It turns out that another German had a little part in the game…
“Everything happened very quickly. I had a good chat with my agent, and then I talked a lot with Dominik Bokk. He played on this team last season and said so many good things about the team and how professional everything is here,” says the Detroit talent, who continues:
-“Then I had several good conversations with Chris (Abbott, Rogle’s sports director) as well. All in all, I’m just grateful for the opportunity I was given. I just want to play ice hockey,”
Seider was, as I said, drafted by the Detroit Red Wings, which is more associated with Swedes than any other NHL club. The Swedish connection also played a part in the German’s team’s choice.
“I had a good chat with Detroit as well. They have many players from the area and there are many from their staff who can be here and watch me as well, and help me adapt to the Swedish lifestyle. We can take Niklas Kronwall (player development, Detroit Red Wings) who has so much experience from his career, as an example. I can call him every day and he will always have some good advice to give me. It is clear that it is very good for me.”
DREAMS OF SM GOLD
Moritz Seider scored 22 points in 49 games in the AHL last season, and he brings with him the experience he gained, from games in both North America and the German top prop league as he now steps into a third professional league.
“It is clear that it is always good to have played against men–against professionals. It helps me now, because there are so many skilled players in this league, I mean, there is a reason why the SHL may be the league closest to the NHL. Hopefully I can learn even more things from playing here.”
What do you hope to get out of your time in Sweden?
“It would be cool to win a championship! We have high expectations in Rogle, and I think we should have them. We have a very good defensive side, stable goaltenderrs, many skilled forwards and a very good coaching staff and organization around them. If everything goes as well as it can, we will be able to win many hockey games, no doubt about it.”