The folks who engage in prospect assessments and the ranking of young players sometimes make incorrect assumptions regarding players. Sometimes they just miss the boat on a player, and sometimes the player develops in a manner that nobody expects.
As such, I don’t really see a reason for The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler to spend his time apologizing for “NHL prospects I was wrong about.” Shit happens, and we all make mistakes, so somebody like Wheeler, who both specializes in prospect assessments and busts his ass accumulating in-person and video evidence to support his theories, gets an, “It’s okay, man” from me.
Anyway, Wheeler does mention something Red Wings-related this morning, and I thought I’d share it with you:
I wrote in the lead-up to the 2019 draft after that year’s scouting combine that if there were one player who were going to rise between my May 6 final draft ranking’s release and the June 21-22 draft weekend, it would have been Seider. There’s a reason I’ve released my final rankings later in the years since. The men’s world championships, which Seider played in and impressed in, didn’t start until May 10 that year, four days after my list was already published. But even after he played his best hockey from the DEL playoffs and into worlds, I still wrote that he would have ranked in the 20s on my list if I were to have updated it (even though it was clear he was going to go top 15 and maybe push into the top 10). So there was still a disconnect between where I was at and where the Red Wings drafted him, even if my perspective was rosier than a slightly outdated ranking. There was no way I was taking Seider over Dylan Cozens, or Trevor Zegras, or Matt Boldy, or Cole Caufield, or Alex Newhook, or Peyton Krebs at the time, at the very least. And today, we know that he absolutely belongs with those kids, if not ahead of them. So that’s on me.
The big hole in my Seider evaluation centred around my belief (or lack thereof) in his offensive tools. The size-skating-intelligence-maturity-defending combo was plain to the eye to see. But before the draft, and even in the first year after, I felt his play with the puck was too passive and deferential to his teammates. When the Red Wings picked him, I thought they were getting a good future top-four guy. I didn’t think they were also getting a PP1 quarterback who was going to be equally as impactful offensively as he was defensively. Some of that, I still believe, is better than anticipated progression with his toolkit inside the offensive zone since he was drafted. But some of that also comes from the minutes and reps that he earned offensively because his game defensively allowed him to get onto the ice so often.
Either way, he’s a heck of a player already and one of the best young defencemen in the sport — and certainly more of a sixth pick than a 20s selection.
Continued; a significant number of people got their assessments of Seider wrong because he developed his offensive skills after being drafted as much as anywhere else–and last year’s progress with Rogle BK of the Swedish Hockey League is a great example thereof–so this Red Wings partisan doesn’t take it personally. The apology is appreciated, but unnecessary because Seider developed on his own.