Red Wings: Moritz Seider continues to improve in sophomore season

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When the Red Wings had the number six pick in the 2019 draft, there were a lot of predictions and speculation on who they would select. I was just as surprised as everyone else when Steve Yzerman and his team selected Moritz Seider. Since arriving in the NHL, he has been impressive and continues to improve in his second season with the Red Wings.

After a slow start offensively, Moritz Seider has picked up the pace.

Seider had gotten off to a bit of a slow start offensively to begin the season. Over the first 35 games of the season, Seider could only manage 12 points which included two goals and ten assists. Since then, Seider has been able to put up 18 points in his last 20 games with two goals and 16 assists. He is currently in second place for scoring among Red Wings defensemen, with Filip Hronek leading at 36 points. I feel he will be able to at least match the 50 points he scored in his rookie season, if not surpass that mark.

Even before getting his scoring back on track, Seider had been playing a solid defensive game. He does a great job of getting in the face of tough opponents and disrupting their game. I think my favorite part of his game is his confidence. He doesn’t let anyone intimidate him on the ice and doesn’t back down when challenged. His composure is that of a defenseman well beyond his years of experience, and that has to be rubbing off on the guys around him.

The parts of Seider’s game that don’t make it on the score sheet are some of the most important for a defenseman. He does a great job managing the breakout from the Wings zone and has been a steady presence on one of the power play units. His plus-minus is currently a -10, which I don’t think genuinely reflects his defensive play. Without his clever play and the small things he does, that number would definitely be lower, and the Wings would have fewer wins.

Moritz Seider has had some standout performances this year.

In the recent Red Wings win in Edmonton against the Oilers, Seider put in what I feel was his best defensive performance of the season. The Oilers have the most prolific scorer in the NHL with Connor McDavid, and he could only manage two assists that night. Seider made some big plays in shutting McDavid down, with his best coming in overtime when he stopped a potential breakaway.

Had McDavid got around Moritz Seider and been able to go one-on-one with Ville Husso, that game may have ended up an overtime loss. There were some other big defensive plays made by Seider that night, giving the team a chance to win. He was a big part of keeping McDavid’s scoring to a minimum which is not an easy task.

Another outstanding performance this year came in the game at home against the Winnipeg Jets. Seider made great plays that night, earning four assists and lifting the team to a 7-5 victory. Of all those assists, his best one of the night was his setup of the Dylan Larkin power-play goal that gave the Wings their fifth of the night.

It was nearing the end of a 5-on-3 advantage, and the Jets had just stolen the puck from Seider, then he intercepted the puck on a clearing attempt and put it back on goal. Lucas Raymond was able to grab the rebound and get the puck back to Seider, who then found Larkin wide open, and he didn’t miss. Opening the Red Wings’ lead back up to two goals was critical heading into the second intermission of that game, and had Seider let that puck out of the zone, it would have been tough to get back down in the Winnipeg zone and set up again on the two-man advantage in the time left.

Moritz Seider will undoubtedly be a cornerstone of the Detroit defense for many years. There doesn’t appear to be any ceiling for this guy moving forward. He has the potential to be the next Nicklas Lidstrom for this team, and his leadership could develop to the point of being a captain for the team in the future. I’m excited to see how far he can go with the Wings.

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