Red Wings 2023-24 Player Preview: Moritz Seider

The Hockey Writers

Two seasons into his NHL career, Moritz Seider has entrenched himself as part of the Detroit Red Wings’ core for the next decade and beyond. The 2022 Calder Trophy winner started the 2022-23 season off slowly as he struggled through the first half of the season. But once the calendar flipped to January, he rediscovered his game and finished strong, securing a second-consecutive 40-point season to begin his career. The last young Red Wings defenseman to do that was a guy named Nicklas Lidstrom – perhaps you’ve heard of him?

Substack Subscribe to the THW Daily and never miss the best of The Hockey Writers Banner

Entering the 2023 offseason, there is a certain energy surrounding the German defenseman. The 2023-24 campaign will be Seider’s age-22 season (he’ll turn 23 in April), and it’s fair to be excited about what he might have in store for his third season in the NHL. This season also marks the final year of his entry-level contract, meaning that he’ll become a restricted free agent on July 1 of next year.

For those reasons and more, Seider’s 2023-24 season is going to be the biggest of his young career.

Seider Overcomes Sophomore Slump, Finds His Match in 2023

Given that Seider has established himself as a legitimate top-pairing defenseman, he is widely accepted as one of the best defensemen in the NHL. But where exactly he ranks in the hierarchy of defensemen is up for discussion.

Related: Red Wings 2023-24 Player Preview: Lucas Raymond

Latest News & Highlight

That discussion changed a lot over the course of 2022. In the summer, Seider’s name popped up in top-10 defensemen discussions, and he was usually near the top of any U-23 rankings done by both formal and informal sources. But by the end of the year, as Seider closed out December with just 12 points in 35 games and a minus-13 rating, the discussions had shifted. Suddenly, he was a mere mortal going through a slump that he couldn’t escape, or so it seemed.

A few games before the halfway point of the season, Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde made a lineup change. After spending the first part of the season alongside veteran Ben Chiarot, Seider was joined on the top pairing by Jake Walman, a player that was once viewed as a throw in in the deal that sent Nick Leddy to the St. Louis Blues. Together, Walman and Seider became a top-notch top pairing for the Red Wings.

“I think we just…vibe really good,” Seider said of playing with Walman. “I like him as a person a lot and…it’s really easy to make plays out there. Hopefully we’ll be even better next year.” As for how the duo played last season, the Red Wings controlled 52.1 percent of shots while the two of them were on the ice together at five on five, per Natural Stat Trick. They also recorded an even 50 percent Corsi rating; without Walman by his side, Seider’s Corsi percentage was just 44.06.

Walman’s time playing with Seider helped pave the way for the three-year extension he signed with Detroit prior to trade deadline. After spending all of the 2021-22 season alongside Danny DeKeyser and the first half of the 2022-23 season with Chiarot, it’s a great comfort to know that Seider enters the 2023-24 season without any questions about who he’ll play with in the immediate future, and perhaps for the foreseeable future.

With Seider at age 22 and Walman at age 27, the Red Wings’ top pair features one defender that is in his prime and another that is just scratching the surface of what he is capable of. They were successful last season, and there’s little reason to believe that success won’t carry over into this season. If they can find another level as individuals and as a tandem, look out.

Seider Still Learning to Harness His Physical Game

What sets Seider apart from other defensemen in his age group is his willingness to put his body on the line and intimidate his opponents through physical play. Last season, he led the Red Wings in both blocks (190) and hits (207), and both of those numbers are improvements over his first season. Even though he is already within striking distance of hitting the 100 points milestone in his NHL career, it’s the combination of his two-way play and physicality that will one day cement him as one of the top defensemen in the world.

But in order to reach that level, one thing Seider is focused on is learning when to channel his aggression and when to live to fight another day.

“You [have got to] weigh the importance of who you’re taking in the [penalty] box with you. If I’m out there playing against the third or fourth line, maybe it’s not the best choice to get tangled up and get into a little scrum there…. As long as it’s fair and square and right into my face, I don’t have a problem with anyone playing hard. I think that’s the respect everyone’s shown to the game, and it’s just about cheap shots after the whistle and stuff that the refs don’t see. Obviously then you get a little bit more frustrated.”

Moritz Seider Detroit Red Wings
Moritz Seider, Detroit Red Wings (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Seider has an opportunity to set the tone for the Red Wings this season. By now, it is well-known that general manager Steve Yzerman placed an emphasis on his team becoming harder to play against both physically and defensively. As Detroit’s top option on the blue line, Seider can (and should) lead the way in this regard. Not only would that advance his career as an individual, but it would also raise the Red Wings’ overall ceiling in terms of what they could accomplish this season.

Returning to the 50-point plateau would be a welcome sight in Seider’s third season, and with the added firepower of Alex DeBrincat, Daniel Sprong and Shayne Gostisbehere, a 60-point season isn’t out of the realm of possibility for Seider. But above all else, his maturation as a person on and off the ice is what will unlock his potential. He wore an ‘A’ on his sweater as an alternate captain during one game last season, a strong indication of how important he is to the team. If he can continue to elevate his game and become even more of a leader on the ice and in the locker room, not only will that letter find its way back onto his sweater, but he will also fully announce himself as one of the best defenders in the sport.

With an elite goal-scorer on the roster in DeBrincat and an elite defender in Seider, the Red Wings will have two crucial building blocks of a Stanley Cup contender. But before we can have that conversation, Seider has to hold up his end of the bargain – and then he and the Red Wings need to put pen to paper on a new deal.

As I said, the 2023-24 season is shaping up to be the biggest yet in Seider’s NHL career.

Articles You May Like

SSOTD: Penguins vs. Red Wings, 4/11/2024
SSOTD: Canadiens vs. Red Wings, 4/16/2024
Maple Leafs Lose to Red Wings in OT Depsite 2nd Period Comeback
SSOTD: Maple Leafs vs. Red Wings, 4/13/2024
Projected Lineups for the Red Wings vs Canadiens – 4/16/24

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *