ColoradoAvalanche.com is profiling draft-eligible prospects leading up to the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver on June 21-22. Defenseman Moritz Seider is the No. 6-ranked International skater in NHL Central Scouting's final rankings. The Avalanche has the fourth and 16th overall selections in the first round of the draft.
German defenseman Moritz Seider has established himself as one of countries most promising hockey talents at 18 years old.
Seider is ranked as the sixth among International skater by NHL Central Scouting and he is looking to become the highest-selected German-born player at the NHL draft since the Edmonton Oilers chose forward Leon Draisaitl at No. 3 overall in 2014.
At 6-foot-3 and 208 pounds, Seiders size alone makes him quite a presence on the ice, but his skill takes him to another level.
"It's his passing, his hockey sense and he's very strong," director of NHL European Scouting Goran Stubb told NHL.com. "He's not overly physical, but he's tough enough both along the boards and in front of the net. And his hockey sense is exceptional. ... Never panics. Makes very smart decisions on the ice. He can shoot, pass and he's a very good two-way player."
A native of Erfurt, Germany, Seider spent his childhood skating on the local rink with his classmates. One afternoon, Seider found a note in his locker inviting him and his peers to skate with one of the local pro hockey teams.
Once exposed to the fast-paced sport, Seider was hooked and spent weeks trying to convince his parents who were unfamiliar with the sport to sign him up.
After finally agreeing, it did not take long for his hockey talents to be revealed.
By 2014, both of Seiders' parents left their jobs and their home in Erfurt to move to Mannheim in support of their son's decision to play juniors in the Adler Mannheim system.
Seider was part of back-to-back championship teams with Mannheim's junior club in 2017 and 2018. Over the course of the two campaigns, the German defenseman tallied 39 points (14 goals, 25 assists).
In 2018-19, he spent the year playing with the pro team of Alder Mannheim and the right-shot defenseman had six points (two goals, four assists) in 29 regular-season games. He added five assists in 14 postseason contests to help the team win the Deutsche Eishockey Liga championship in Germany's top professional league.
Seider's impressive play was recognized as he was named the Rookie of the Year in the DEL for the 2018-19 season despite being limited to 29 outings because of a shoulder injury.
On the international stage, Seider captained Germany to victory at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship Division IA and was named the tournament's top defenseman after leading all rear guards with seven points (one goal, six assists) in five contests.
He again represented his country at the 2019 IIHF World Championship in May where he played with and against experienced men, many of whom are NHL players, including Colorado Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer.
Seider missed three games of the World Championship because of an injury sustained in the group play but he tallied two goals in five games and averaged 13:47 of time on ice at the tournament.
"It all went pretty fast, the last couple of years," Seiders said to NHL.com after Germany's loss against Finland in the quarterfinals. "I came to Mannheim just four years ago just to play under-16 and jumped to under-19 and now I'm standing here at the World Championship and playing in a quarterfinal. It's an unbelievable season."
While Seider is in a great position to become a top draft pick, he knows more work is required before a prospect can turn into an NHL player.
"There's a big gap between me and the NHL," he said "You have to be serious. For sure, it's still for sure a couple of years. You have to be realistic and work on those things and get prepared."