Detroit – Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill was impressed by the play of defenseman Moritz Seider for Germany at the world junior championships.
But Blashill wouldn’t commit to Seider getting a taste of the NHL during the Wings’ second half of the season.
“I watched enough to see that he played very well,” said Blashill. “His development is right on cue. I don’t want to speak of the timeline, but development-wise, he’s doing a great job of keep getting better. He had more power-play time there (at world juniors) and it looked he knew what he was doing up top. I was impressed with him.”
The Wings could bring Seider up for nine games – as they did last year with Filip Zadina – this season and it wouldn’t begin Seider’s entry-level contract.
But Blashill said, “We’ll see as we go along. It’s not something we’ve discussed in the immediate future. I look at it on a game-to-game basis and I want the six best (defensemen) to win a hockey game. (General manager) Steve (Yzerman) has to look at it more from a big-picture basis and there’s a lot that goes into that – expansion draft, a lot of different things. Steve will make that final determination.
“Most important is his (Seider’s) development and what is best for his own development. There’s a confidence factor that can be enhanced sometimes when you’re at the American League level and can be hurt sometimes when you’re here – and sometimes it’s reversed.”
Seider was drafted by the Wings in the first round, No. 6, in 2019.
Forward Michael Rasmussen has been limited to 10 games (two goals, nine assists) this season in Grand Rapids – he hasn’t played since Nov. 12 – because of undisclosed injuries.
“You’re missing critical development,” said Blashill. “The fact he’s been out so much hurts the timeline of development. It doesn’t necessarily mean it will hurt his development long-term, but the timeline, the quickness with which he would be ready to be an NHL player, is hurt.
“There’s still half a season left, and hopefully he can get to where he is healthy enough to play every night and do real well down there.”
When asked about forward Evgeny Svechnikov (29 games, 13 points), Blashill said the organization wants to see more of the former first-round draft pick.
“He’s going to have to play great hockey, regardless of there or here,” Blashill said. “If you play great hockey, the organization will feel good about you.”
Frans Nielsen was ill and missed Thursday’s practice, but Blashill was hopeful Nielsen would be ready to face Ottawa Friday.
… Blashill said Anthony Mantha (mid-body) and Andreas Athanasiou (lower body) will not return before the end of January.
Senators at Red Wings
Faceoff: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Little Caesars Arena
TV/radio: FSD/97.1 FM
Outlook: Ottawa (16-22-5) has surprised all season but has fallen on hard times lately – four straight losses and eight of its last 10 (2-5-3). … The Senators are led by LW Anthony Duclair (21 goals) and C Jean-Gabriel Pageau (19 goals).