Detroit Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider was named the 49th best player in the NHL by the NHL network. This comes after Seider won the Calder Trophy as the ‘player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League.’ Moritz Seider was the first Red Wings player to win the Calder Trophy since goaltender Roger Crozier in 1965. Beyond that, he was also the first Detroit defenseman to win the award.
The Detroit Defense
Moritz Seider finished the 2021-22 season with 7 goals and 43 assists in 82 games played for the Red Wings. This 50 points was the 4th most on the Red Wings roster in 2021-22. The next most points by a defenseman on this Red Wings team was the 38 tallied by Filip Hronek who has not panned out after being the 53rd overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft. That is not to say that the 24-year-old cannot find a role in the “bottom 6” of the Red Wings’ defense corps.
Hronek was moved down in the defensive depth chart toward the end of the 2021-22 season which saw his play improve. This is something that happens at the NHL level when a team’s defense grows more talented. The Red Wings do not have this “problem” as of yet as the more talented defensemen in their system are working their way through the minor leagues. Simon Edvinsson is one such defenseman that is looking to make the Red Wings roster in 2022-23.
Edvinsson is just one of the prospects that will be the focus of the Red Wings that will be at the team’s upcoming prospects tournament. As the top-four Red Wings defensemen seem to be set, perhaps Hronek can take Edvinsson under his wing as he breaks into the NHL. Hronek is going into his fifth season as a member of the Red Wings. The top-four of Seider, new addition Ben Chiarot, along with Olli Maatta and Hronek will look to prove themselves as half of it are unproven in the winged wheel.
At 6’6” Edvinsson is another big defender that could one day be half of Detroit’s first pairing of defensemen. The 19-year-old was drafted by the Red Wings out of Onsala, Sweden with the 6th pick in the first round of the NHL draft in 2021. During the 2021-22 season, Edvinsson scored 2 goals and added 17 assists in 44 games for Frölunda HC of the SHL. Edvinsson has stated that his goal is to make the Red Wings roster in 2022-23.
If he has a strong showing at the prospect’s tournament, he will be well on his way of making the roster. What should not be expected is Edvinsson bringing the 2022-23 Calder Trophy back to Detroit, as Seider did.
The Special Moritz Seider
Seider’s 2021-22 season was special given the fact that the hockey world was shocked that he was drafted so early in the 2019 draft. It would not be unheard of for Edvinsson to struggle as he adjusts to the NHL which is known for having smaller rinks. Edvinsson will not have to worry about his size when adjusting to NHL ice.
Seider showed off his comedic chops at the NHL awards banquet after receiving his Calder Trophy saying that his parents thought it was more important to go on a cruise than show up to the event. Seider has the talent to be in contention for many more awards during his NHL career. Cale Makar of the Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche won the Norris Trophy as the top defenseman in the NHL for the 2021-22 season. These two have the talent to battle for NHL awards throughout the rest of their careers.
Before that happens, Seider will have to prove that he is not just a one-year wonder, something that he is keenly aware of as he was quoted as saying that he didn’t care about winning the Calder Trophy. “Everyone is preparing themselves to be better next season, to prove more people wrong and to fight for a playoff spot,” Seider said. “I think it’s time for us to give something back, not only for ourselves but also for this city, the fans. We want playoffs at LCA.”
“I want to step up and be a leader on the ice and if you have to, also off the ice. Just lead by example and I think the others will follow.”
Playoff hockey will come in time for the Red Wings. For now, Derek Lalonde will have to prove that he can coach at the highest level of hockey. Seider and the rest of the defense will be a large part of how the team performs.
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