Detroit – It sure sounds like defenseman Moritz Seider will get a taste of the NHL at some point in the coming weeks.
But when, and for how long – that seems undetermined.
With the NHL trade deadline Monday, and veteran defensemen Mike Green and Trevor Daley possibly being dealt, Seider could be promoted to Detroit for up to nine games before his entry level contract kicks in.
Seider could get also get promoted even if the Red Wings don't deal any of their defensemen.
Coach Jeff Blashill and general manager Steve Yzerman are discussing the options with Seider.
With Seider, 18, enjoying a solid rookie pro season, and the Grand Rapids Griffins in a close chase for a playoff spot, there is the argument Seider is fine where he is.
It’s definitely a tough call.
“There are factors in play – where Grand Rapids is at, what’s best for his development," Blashill said. "It would be hard-pressed for me to see them totally secure a playoff spot. It usually comes down to the end (of the regular season). Steve and I have had conversations about the possibility (of calling up Seider), but we’ve made no definitive decisions.”
The Wings surprisingly drafted Seider sixth overall in last June’s Entry Draft, shocking Seider and the hockey world, as Seider was expected to go later in the first round.
But the 6-foot-4, 203-pound defenseman has played well in Grand Rapids, with 19 points (two goals) in 44 games, with a minus-4 rating. Scouts have raved about his poise and all-around play, especially for an 18-year-old.
“My understanding is he’s done a real good job, he’s played real good hockey,” said Blashill, who talks regularly with Griffins coach Ben Simon. “I’m a big fan. He’s going to be a real, real good player. How good? We’ll see.”
There are pros and cons to bringing Seider up to the NHL.
“If he’s developing really well down there, leave him there and let him continue to develop,” said Blashill. “If he’s playing well down there, does it help him to come up and play a little bit? In the end, Steve will make that decision based on what is best for his development and it’ll be based solely on that.”
The big area Seider is learning and getting adjusted to this season has been offensive risk management, and learning when to be aggressive offensively.
“It’s something that he didn’t get a chance to do a whole bunch last year because of the level he was playing (in Germany),” Blashill said. “He might not be getting that here (in the NHL) either, because sometimes when you play at the highest level you end up playing over-safe.
“He’s got some offense to give and it’s just understanding the risk management and it’s a learned process. But he’s getting better at it.”
Robby Fabbri was pleased and relieved to hear about the positive news regarding St. Louis defenseman Jay Bouwmeester.
They were teammates on the Blues for the past four seasons, including last year's Stanley Cup-winning team.
Bouwmeester is recovering from a cardiac episode Feb. 11 on the Blues' bench in Anaheim.
"It was kind of a shock when I heard," Fabbri said. "Watching the video, that's something you never want to happen to anyone. But when it's someone you know pretty well ... ever since I came into the league he's been on my team, and he's probably in the best shape of any hockey player I've seen. I'm just glad to hear he's doing better, I'm happy to see that."
Blashill hinted Joe Veleno will remain in Grand Rapids for the remainder of the season.
Veleno, who was drafted by the Wings 30th overall in 2018 (after Filip Zadina), had a slow start to his rookie pro season, but has played better lately.
Incidentally, Veleno scored the winning goal Thursday in the Griffins’ matinee victory in Chicago.
“If that was the case, my own quick judgement would be let’s leave him in a spot where he’s being confident,” Blashill said. “There’s a lot to be said for guys staying where they’re having success instead of risking disrupting what’s a good thing.
“He’s a super young player, and a betting man would say he’ll probably stay down there and keep developing.”
Red Wings at Islanders
Faceoff: 8 p.m., Friday, Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, N.Y.
TV/radio: FSD/97.1 FM
Outlook: The Islanders (33-20-6) are clinging to a playoff spot after having lost four consecutive games. … Note the start time, which has been pushed back an hour, because of a ceremony honoring Islander great John Tonelli. … C Mathew Barzal (49 points) and C Brock Nelson (22 goals) pace the Islanders offensively.