The Red Wings’ beat writers were a bit taken with Wings prospect Moritz Seider, who made a big impression during his off-ice interview at the Red Wings’ training camp today…
As a result, all three beat writers penned articles discussing Seider’s likelihood of remaining in North America, the young defender’s hopes of making the Wings or Griffins out of camp and the exhibition season, and coach Jeff Blashill’s take on the Wings’ bright prospect.
The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan noted that Seider simply wants to stick…
“I don’t really care where I’m staying,” Seider said. “To be honest, I just want to become a better player and person and I don’t care where that is.”
[GM Steve] Yzerman was pleased with what he saw of Seider in the prospects tournament.
“He did very well,” Yzerman said. “As an 18-year-old defenseman, he logged a lot of ice time, and he played in all situations. It’s a big step coming into this tournament, and you watch the guys who do well in this tournament, and generally, they turn out to be pretty good players in the NHL.
“I’m not sure where he’ll play (after the exhibition season). He’s here this week, he’s going to play in the preseason, and we’re going to take one step at a time. Let’s get through the preseason. We have options, Detroit, the American Hockey League (in Grand Rapids) or back to Europe. All three are potentially good options. We’ll take it one step at a time.”
Blashill, while coaching Team USA during May’s world championships, had a chance to watch Seider, who played for Germany.
“He was impressive,” Blashill said. “You don’t get the same forecheck pressure, but man, for an 18-year-old, he did an unreal job when facing pressure. When he had it, he made real good, poised plays and managed his game great.”
MLive’s Ansar Khan noted Blashill’s take on Seider’s character, as well as a peer’s remarks on Seider in those of Taro Hirose…
“He came into the (suite) with his family at the draft, and his parents don’t speak much English, so he had to carry his parents a little bit and he did an unreal job of it,” Blashill said. “You could tell he’s comfortable in his own skin. Those are the guys that have true self-confidence. He’s got a little leadership Pied Piper to him where guys of the same age want to follow him around.”
Fellow prospect Taro Hirose has been hanging with Seider.
“He’s an awesome guy, real good character guy,” Hirose said. “I think you can tell he’s going to be an unbelievable player in the league.”
Hirose added: “He has a lot of confidence with the puck and he’s one of those D-men that, as an offensive-minded guy, you want to play with because he’s not just going to be dumping the puck in, he’s going to be making plays and looking for you.”
And the Free Press’s Helene St. James made the case for keeping Seider close by:
Seider can be sent to Grand Rapids or Germany if he does not make the Detroit roster, but there are advantages to assigning him to the Griffins. He’d be a two-hour drive away instead of a transatlantic flight, making it easier to keep tabs on every aspect of his development, from on-ice performance to training to nutrition. Playing in the AHL would also help Seider acclimate to the smaller North American ice sheet.
Asked about the argument for keeping Seider close, Blashill parried. “I wanted to go to law school when I got done with college. I think I can make a strong argument for any place for him to play, to be dead honest with you.
“Certainly there’s arguments to play in North America; you could make arguments to play in Europe. Let’s watch him play in exhibition and see where he best fits in.”
In what little he has seen of Seider, veteran defenseman Patrik Nemeth said: “You can see he’s got the tools, for sure. He wants to make plays and he sees the ice pretty well. It’s going to be interesting to follow his development.”
Seider sounded as if he’d prefer to stay in North America. “It all depends where I can play the most and that’s probably in Grand Rapids if I’m not making the team,” he said. “I don’t really care about it that much where I’m staying next season, to be honest. I just want to become a better hockey player, a better person, and I don’t really care where that is.”
DetroitRedWings.com’s Dana Wakiji focused on Seider, too:
“I had the opportunity to train with a lot of guys in Detroit already so I’m used to it,” Seider said. “The speed is pretty high, I think we had great intensity out there already and I think everybody’s looking forward to the (Red and White) game.”
Seider also took advantage of his time in Detroit by seeing some of what the state of Michigan has to offer.
“I would say, first of all, great universities,” Seider said. “We had the chance going to a Michigan game in the Big House. It was unbelievable. It was a great atmosphere. It was nice, you can go fishing, you can go out on the water a lot of times. I heard a couple guys have a couple boats so I think it’s going to be a fun time.”
Seider also got to know some of the other prospects through the summer and the prospect tournament.
Seider made a telling remark regarding his lack of entitlement:
“I think I’m 18, I can improve a lot of things. That’s why I’m here,” Seider said. “First of all, I’m a prospect and I want to get better and I think in every situation on the ice, I can do a little bit better job.
“You want to get more mature. I think you’re around older guys, veteran players. (Trevor) Daley is going into his 17th season, I think. Those guys earned their spot and you just want to be thankful to be around them.”