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Summer of Seeler rolls on at Wild on the Water

Defenseman, father haul in biggest bass at second annual event on Mille Lacs Lake

by Dan Myers @DanMyers / Wild.com

ONAMIA -- It seems Nick Seeler can do no wrong.

After a 22-game stint in the NHL at the end of last season, the Eden Prairie native was one of the club's better players during its playoff series against the Winnipeg Jets.

Two weeks ago, he signed a three-year, one-way contract that makes him a piece to build around as Minnesota moves closer to next season.

On Saturday, Seeler showed his hand remains hot away from the rink as well.

The 6-foot-2 defenseman traded in his hockey stick for a fishing pole at the second annual Wild on the Water Bass Fishing Tournament presented by Alumacraft, on Mille Lacs Lake. Along with his father, Dan, Seeler reeled in the biggest bass of the morning.

Tweet from @mnwild: What a day on the lake! #WildOnTheWater pic.twitter.com/j3XB2v6Zvh

When you're hot, you're hot.

And like his debut in the NHL, Seeler saved the best for the stretch run.

"We caught a couple of real good ones towards the end," Seeler said. "With 20 minutes left, we were scratching and clawing a little bit. But it was a great time. We caught numerous fish, but got three solid ones late."

The tournament featured more than a dozen current Wild players, coaches, management and alumni, each divided into teams. 

Seeler, Zach Parise, Jason Zucker, Gustav Olofsson, Luke Kunin and Matt Hendricks were among Wild players in attendance, as well as head coach Bruce Boudreau and general manager Paul Fenton.

Despite winning the biggest bass, Seeler couldn't get the players team over the hump in the overall competition, which was won by Boudreau and the Wild coaches.

Tweet from @mnwild: And the winner for most bass caught (by weight)...the #Mnwild Coaches Team with captains Bruce Boudreau & Ron Schara #WildOnTheWater 🎣 pic.twitter.com/ZTIfofowTZ

The day couldn't have been more enjoyable for Seeler.

Each celebrity was paired with a VIP and a guide in a boat. Seeler's VIP was his dad, and their guide was a family friend, Matt Thompson.

Thompson and the Seelers met years ago on a different fishing excursion and have remained in touch. When the trio hit the water on Saturday, there was plenty of instant chemistry.

"It worked out great, it was a ton of fun," Seeler said. "We've fished together before and anytime you get to fish with a good family friend and your dad, you can't beat it."

Seeler hopes to continue the momentum he's built on and off the ice into his first full season with Minnesota.

Instagram from @minnesotawild: #WildOnTheWater time! Which team will win?

A fifth-round pick of the Wild in the 2011 NHL Draft, Seeler made his NHL debut on Feb. 13 and looked the part almost immediately. He tallied four assists, but the left-shot blueliner isn't counted on to provide much in the way of offense.

Instead, Seeler excelled in his own zone -- especially around the blue paint -- immediately becoming a favorite of both teammates and fans because of his willingness to put his body in the way of opponents. 

Seeler finished his 22-game stretch in the regular season as a plus-10, then had two more assists and was a plus-1 in five playoff contests.

That earned the restricted free agent a three-year, $2.175 contact on July 1, a deal that keeps the former University of Minnesota Golden Gopher home through the 2020-21 campaign.

"It's been a really good summer," Seeler said. "Having that contract weight lifted off your shoulders, knowing you're locked in for the next three years with Minnesota, it's pretty special.

"Being able to stay in Minnesota is what I wanted and I'm just thankful for the opportunity given to me. I'm excited for camp and excited for the year."

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