The Free Press’s Helene St. James posted an early-morning article discussing Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider’s performance against New Jersey Devils forward Jack Hughes during Saturday’s 5-2 win over New Jersey. Both players were drafted in the first round in 2019, and even though the Red Wings finished lower than the Devils that year, the Wings’ draft lottery luck failed them…On paper, anyway:
Saturday marked the first time Seider and Hughes played against one another in the NHL. Hughes, 20, is in his third season, but Seider spent 2019-20 in the American Hockey League and last season in Sweden. Seider was on the ice against Hughes most shifts, and quickly adapted to limit his effectiveness. Wings assistant coach Doug Houda, who is in charge of the defensemen, pointed out Seider’s teachability after the game.
“I thought he respected the game,” Houda said. “He knew he had to play Jack Hughes. The first couple minutes, I thought Hughes got in behind him, and that was the last time he got in behind him, because he played against him most of the night.
“He’s a great player and he’s just learning the game and every day he’s getting better and better. As you play against these better players every game, there’s something to pick up every night, and he did it again. He defended pretty well against Jack Hughes.”
Hughes was held without a point, giving him five goals, three assists and a minus-8 rating in 12 games this season (he missed 17 games because of a dislocated shoulder). Hughes had 21 points and was minus-26 in 61 games his rookie year, and had 31 points and a minus-3 rating in 56 games last season. In November, the Devils signed Hughes to an eight-year, $64-million extension that kicks in next season and carries an $8 million annual average value.
In addition to his defensive performance, Seider starred offensively. In the second period, he had the puck in the neutral zone, slowed down to make sure the play was not offside, remained poised as he was double teamed, and then slipped the puck through defender’s legs and on to Tyler Bertuzzi, who scored to make it 3-1. It was Seider’s 18th assist of the season, tying teammate Lucas Raymond for the NHL lead in assists among rookies.
Continued (paywall); here’s the goal: