Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman apparently knew what he was doing when he made his first draft pick since taking the reins in the Motor City when he decided to make German defenseman Moritz Seider the franchise's selection at No. 6 in 2019.
And so far, Seider is not only looking every bit as advertised, but is causing visions of having a bonafide top defenseman patrolling the blue line in Detroit to dance around in the heads of fans.
He enjoyed a productive first season in North America last year, tallying two goals and 22 points in 49 games for the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins. He's been on loan with Rögle BK of the Swedish Hockey League, and was recently named the recipient of the SHL Elite Prospect's Award after tallying seven goals, 21 assists and a plus-14 rating in 41 games played, along with another goal and four assists in 13 playoff games.
Fellow prospect Joe Veleno, who was also on loan overseas and later appeared in his first NHL action with the Red Wings last week as their regular season schedule came to a close, was impressed with the poise that the young Seider showed on the ice.
"He looked really good," Veleno said about Seider. "He didn't look out of place at all. He has been outstanding in every aspect of the game, especially physically, hitting guys all over the ice. It's good for him, it's part of his game, and he's also able to produce offense. He's really taken a lot of steps forward."
The Red Wings wanted Seider to be able to continue his development by playing overseas while the NHL sorted out its schedule amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
"He had his heart set on playing. It turned out to be a great (decision)," GM Steve Yzerman said. "He went to a really good organization, a good team, and was able to earn a big role on the team and play in all situations. Overall, I think it's been a real good year for him."
So when can Red Wings fans look forward to seeing Seider on the ice full time? According to Yzerman, there's no official target date for him, though he once again attested to Seider's potential.
"Is he ready to play in the NHL next year? Based on his size and his strength, I think so. But we'll see," Yzerman said. "He'll be back for training camp next year and (we'll) just see how he does at that point. We think he's a very good prospect and he's got a great attitude and tremendous potential, so we'll see how he does through training camp, through the preseason and just continue to go one step at a time."