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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.

Highlights

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.

Rankings

Ranked #21 by TSN/McKenzie

Ranked #6 by NHL Central Scouting (EU skaters)

Ranked #16 by Future Considerations

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Author

A.J. Haefele was born in Aurora, Colorado, raised in Katy, Texas and is the Colorado Avalanche beat reporter for BSN Denver. AJ helped launch the network back in 2015 and has filled roles as a team leader and Editor-In- Chief, along with co-hosting the BSN Denver draft podcasts along with his other duties. You can hear him every weekday on the BSN Avalanche podcast.

    • 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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