At the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman surprised hockey fans across the globe as he chose to draft German defenseman Moritz Seider with the sixth overall pick. Many analysts believed that Seider would be drafted after fellow defensive prospects, Victor Söderström, Cam York and Philip Broberg. But, to quote Bruce Almighty, “That’s the way the cookie crumbles.”
After Yzerman selected Seider, he spoke with Rogers Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman about the selection. Yzerman mentioned that he understood that Seider wasn’t being taken that high on mock drafts, but it’s evident that the Red Wings general manager isn’t basing his draft selections on the results of mock drafts on various sites. Instead, Yzerman honestly felt that Seider was the best player on the board and that the 18-year-old filled an organizational need.
With Seider now part of the Detroit Red Wings organization, the next step is to sign the prospect to an entry-level contract. But after that, Seider and the Red Wings front office will have to select where he’ll play next season.
Seider could either go back to Germany and play for the DEL club Alder Mannheim, play in the NHL, AHL, or CHL. With the options on the table, it might make more sense for the defenseman to play in North America next season and get accustomed to playing here. There are many differences in the style of game when you compare European hockey to North American hockey. Plus, the level of competition in Germany isn’t as strong. With that being said, Yzerman and Seider might come to the consensus that he’s better off playing in the US or Canada.
If he were to play in the CHL, he would be joining the Owen Sound Attack, who own Seider’s CHL import rights. If Seider were to play with the Attack, he’d likely play in the Attack’s top defensive pairing. The Attack gave up quite a bit of talent at the OHL’s trade deadline last year as they decided to part ways with Sean Durzi and Nick Suzuki. With Durzi playing for the Guelph Storm, the Attack don’t truly have a top defenseman. Seider would be able to fill that gap. Plus, if Seider were to join the Attack, he would have the opportunity to play alongside fellow countryman, Manuel Alberg.
The last option on the table would be to play for the Red Wings or the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins. While it could happen that Seider could end up being in the NHL next season, the chances of that are quite slim. Instead, he’d likely play with Grand Rapids. Unfortunately, if he were to play with the Griffins next season, he’d be battling for ice-time with other Red Wings prospects including Jared McIssac, Dennis Cholowski, Vili Saarjärvi and Gustav Lindström. But, there is still a sizable chance that he could play on the Griffins’ second pairing. If he does have the opportunity to play on the second pairing that might be the best spot for the German defenseman. He’ll get to play on a strong defensive unit and get an opportunity to play for head coach Ben Simon, who previously served as an assistant coach and helped pave the way for a Calder Cup win in 2017.