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The Draft Analyst

A big, smooth-skating German blueliner with physicality, sound instincts and leadership qualities, Seider, when given the opportunity, has handled a top-four role against adult-age competition with aplomb. His dominant play in all three zones at the IIHF’s first division under-20 world juniors not only led Germany to the title that vaulted them into the top bracket for next year’s tournament, but also reinforced his standing as a first-round quality prospect with legitimate top-pairing potential at the highest level. One of Seider’s most noticeable qualities is how smart he is with or without the puck. Blessed with an acute sense to predict the opponent’s intentions, Seider quickly transitions from standing up at the blue line like a brick wall, to a quick poke and pass that leads his mates to a counterattack. His physicality, reach and quick feet combine to make the majority of 1-on-1 attempts die quickly above the circles. Additionally, Seider will fix a puck carrier into the corner for either a low-percentage centering attempt or a smothering check into the boards. Cross-ice passes originating from the strong side get broken up with regularity, and you can make a strong case for Seider being the best in his draft class at owning and maintaining positioning in the low slot.

Seider’s offensive prowess appears limited, although he has shown confidence and reliability with his puck carrying. You rarely see him painted into a corner, and he uses smart dump-ins or lobs to buy additional time. He likes to join the rush and will venture well into the circles or slot as a trailer. He owns an excellent shot, both for its velocity and accuracy. He isn’t your classic power-play quarterback, but he has soft hands to handle crisp, cross-ice passes and hammer one-timers on net. One thing to keep an eye on are injuries, as Seider missed two sizeable chunks of the schedule due to issues with his shoulder, and also suffered a concussion after being hit from behind at the men’s world championship in May.

AJ’s Thoughts

Seider is a raw defender whose tools make him an intriguing player overall. He combines great size with good mobility and enough untapped offensive potential that it’s easy to dream on his potential as a future top-pairing defenseman. I think that’s a bit much for me but when watching him it’s not hard to see tantalizing potential.

Given the relatively weak competition he’s played against, his strong performance at the U-18s was vital to not only ensuring his place in the first round but potentially the top 15. It should serve as a launch pad for Seider to get firmly into the conversation as potentially the second-best defenseman in this year’s draft class.

I like his game and think there’s some real potential there. I question how high the offensive upside really is because while there’s been some flashes, it looks pretty inconsistent to me and none of it is high-end stuff. His shot is legit and it should translate to the NHL just fine. He’s a rock solid defenseman, however, and he uses his size well and embraces the physical side of the game. Multiple shoulder injuries are a concern because it’s only going to get more physical moving forward.


Avalanche Fit

Lots of talk from Avs fans in recent years about finding a long-term replacement for Erik Johnson. This guy could be it because it’s going to take some time for him to get to the NHL. What his development path is going forward is a legitimate question mark. Does he stay in the DEL? Does he come over in the CHL Import Draft? Does he follow Martin Kaut and Mikko Rantanen and come to the AHL immediately after being drafted? The plan for Seider’s development is going to be a key component of what comes next for the raw German defenseman.

If the Avs are comfortable with a plan and he’s there at 16, it would be hard to go against that decision. They absolutely need to infuse their defensive pipeline with more quality young talent because all of their best prospects are in the AHL or higher. Seider would be a player who needs significant development though and it’s a real question whether Colorado can help him with that. They’ve not developed much defensively outside offensive defensemen in recent years. Seider would present a unique challenge outside of their normal comfort zone but if it pays off, he could be one of the steals of the draft.


Ranked #21 by TSN/McKenzie

Ranked #6 by NHL Central Scouting (EU skaters)

Ranked #16 by Future Considerations


A.J. Haefele, was born in Aurora, Colorado, raised in Katy, Texas and is the Avalanche Editor and Editor-In-Chief of BSN Denver. Education: A.J. studied at Stephen F. Austin State University before moving back to Colorado in 2009. Career:  Before joining BSN Denver, A.J. had been writing for and briefly managed the popular Avalanche blog, Mile High Hockey. A.J. began contributing in 2010 with detailed practice reports, training camp coverage, and in-depth looks at Colorado’s divisional foes. He would expand his horizons with free agency analysis, draft coverage, and more day-to-day looks at the team before taking over the blog as Co-Managing Editor. It was a short-lived tenure atop before BSN Denver came calling. Most memorable sports moment: Ray Bourque lifting the Stanley Cup in 2001. John Elway winning his first Super Bowl is a very close second but Bourque winning the Cup and finishing “Mission 16W” is one of the greatest stories in all of sports. The finest sports book I’ve ever read: Big fan of “Moneyball”. The implications on the sport and the inside look at how an organization changed its attitude to exploit a market inefficiency was fascinating. One sports movie that I can’t live without: There aren’t really any I dislike. Major League and Cool Runnings were my favorites growing up but Miracle and Goon have been my favorites as an adult. Also can’t live without the Rocky and now Creed movies. Most memorable experience as a reporter: Covering the 2017 NHL Draft was a dream come true for me. I’d always wanted to attend a draft and I got to do it while covering the team selecting fourth overall. Interviewing Cale Makar after he was selected is something I’ll never forget. The sport that started it all: Baseball! My dad was an enormous baseball fan and when the Rockies came into existence, it was an instant bond for the two of us and created sports fanaticism that has defined most of my life.


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      Hope not. Trying to be optimistic. I’m more worried about not signing 1 or 2 FA’s that push us over hump. Hayes has not signed yet so…

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