GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — At just 18 years old, Moritz Seider is the Detroit Red Wings’ No. 1 defensive prospect and, the organization is hoping, the cornerstone of its eventual rebuild on the blue line.
“There’s no pressure (on me),” Seider said. “I’m just here to developing myself to get a better hockey player every single day. After the season, we’ll have to see where I’m going. But now, I’m just here focusing on the Grand Rapids Griffins. It’s all about winning games and getting better.”
Despite being the second youngest player in the American Hockey League and on his own for the first time in foreign country, Seider has played with incredible poise and composure.
“He doesn’t look like an 18-year-old player on the ice,” Griffins teammate and defenseman Brian Lashoff, said. “I mean, he plays incredibly strong. He’s hard to play against. For a teenager for this league, it can be tough, but he’s come in and he moves the puck well, he makes good plays under pressure.”
Griffins head coach Ben Simon agrees.
“He doesn’t play like your typical 18-year-old,” Simon said. “He plays a mature game. He’s going to make mistakes, no question, but I think overall, he has a pretty mature approach to how (he) handles himself both on and off the ice.”
Many teenage hockey players struggle with the physicality of the second-best league in the world, but Seider’s coaches think otherwise.
“He’s obviously a big kid and that helps,” Griffins assistant coach Matt Macdonald said. “He’s physical, but he plays like a man out there. It’s evident, especially in the defensive zone. He’s being physically dominate at times. It’s amazing to see an 18-year-old kid come into this league and do what he’s doing right now.”
“I like playing a physical game,” Seider said, “and making the opponent tough to play against me. I feel I’m more engaged when I playing hard. So that’s for a sure a part of my game too.”
And the Germany native is enjoying life in Grand Rapids.
“It’s great,” Seider said, smiling. “It’s a great city. You can walk everywhere and the boys are taking good care of me, so it’s been a fun time so far.”
While most will probably get a nine-game or less look with the Red Wings, sometime later this season, it seems more and more likely that he’ll be with them for good next fall.
“As a kid, you always dream about playing in the NHL as a man,” Seider said. “And I will work hard every single day to have that chance.”
Lashoff believes, it will come soon.
“He’s going to give himself the opportunity to go up to Detroit and stay there the rest of his career,” Lashoff said.
And Red Wings fans can’t wait to see it.