Only 18 years old and Minnesota Wild Prospect Nick Seeler
has already had some big moments at Xcel Energy Center.
Last summer, the Eden Prairie native was on hand as Minnesota selected him in the fifth round (131 overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft in St. Paul.
“It’s incredible,” said Seeler during a press conference shortly after being selected by the Wild. “Words can’t describe, especially getting picked by your hometown team.”
If being picked by the local team wasn’t thrilling enough, Seeler achieved another childhood dream earlier last year: leading the Eden Prairie Eagles to the Class AA Minnesota High School State Boys’ Tournament championship. In one of the most memorable games in State Tourney history, Eden Prairie defeated Duluth East 3-2, in a triple overtime thriller on the ice at Xcel Energy Center. Seeler racked up 43 points (9+34=43) in his senior year, including an assist in the championship game.
This season, Seeler is playing for the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL, after being traded from the Muskegon Lumberjacks.
“It’s going really well,” Seeler said. “I’m developing as a player. I think that’s the main thing juniors is for – to develop.”
The defenseman said he is working on his overall game, but concentrating on defensive zone positioning and playing the body, especially in front of the net.
Working on the little things in junior hockey will help him take the next step, as Seeler is set to play college hockey at the University of Nebraska at Omaha next season.
“My impressions (of UNO) were great,” Seeler said. “I love the coaching staff, and the rink and players were great. It just had a good feel to it and I knew it was the right place for me.”
Seeler will be under the tutelage of UNO coach Dean Blais, who played college hockey at the University of Minnesota and won two National Championships at the University of North Dakota as head coach. Blais then spent time as an NHL assistant and junior hockey bench boss, before coming over to coach the Mavericks. Blais has helped mold many college players into NHLers.
“He’s a great coach from what I hear,” Seeler said. “I know he has a ton of experience that I can build off of.”
The 6’2” blueliner will have some time in the college ranks to fill out his 185-pound frame before attempting to make the jump to pro hockey. But, the Minnesota prospect knows that to get a shot with the Wild he needs to continue his development as a player.
“You just gotta keep working and building your game,” Seeler said. “Hopefully (I’ll) get to the NHL one day.”
With continued hard work and dedication to his craft, Seeler has the potential for a few more big moments at Xcel Energy Center.