What Detroit Red Wings' Moritz Seider's growth at World Championship says about his game

Moritz Seider's about-face turned out to be an excellent development for the Detroit Red Wings, even as it left his NHL head coach empty handed.

Derek Lalonde saw first-hand how well Seider played at the World Championship, because Lalonde was an assistant coach with the U.S. team that was in the same group as Seider's Germany. Aided by having as good a defenseman as Seider in their lineup, the Germans rallied to upset the Americans in the semifinals, and wound up leaving the annual event with the silver medal, Germany's first medal since West Germany took silver in 1953.

"I watched plenty of Mo throughout the tournament," Lalonde told the Free Press this week. "He was controlling the game. He managed his game extremely well, and it wasn’t about points. He was efficient with his game. It was good to see.

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"You could see maturity in his game. You saw a mature Mo Seider in that tournament. In years prior he might have tried to do a little more, or try to force things, but he has really matured as a player, which is exciting got to see."

Germany's players, including defender Moritz Seider, react after the final whistle of the IIHF men's world championships final between Canada and Germany in Tampere, Finland, on Sunday, May 28, 2023.
Germany's players, including defender Moritz Seider, react after the final whistle of the IIHF men's world championships final between Canada and Germany in Tampere, Finland, on Sunday, May 28, 2023.

Seider had a goal and four assists in 10 games.

The 22-year-old said a few days after the Wings' season ended that he had decided not to represent his country at the event, which for the Group A teams was in Tampere, Finland. But when he showed up in Munich to watch Germany play the U.S. in a Worlds warm-up game, Seider's visit with the national team changed his mind.

"Mo was not going to play," Lalonde said. "And then Mo visited the locker room and saw the guys, and the juices got flowing and he asked Germany if he could play. They made a very smart decision in saying yes. He caught them the very last practice. I don’t know if he even had a practice prior to us scrimmaging them in the exhibition game. I thought that spoke volumes.

"He has played so much hockey. I get it, at the end of the season, he probably wanted to decompress. When we talked in our exit interview, we talked about how important summer was, and his approach to it, and Worlds wasn’t going to be a part of that because he was prioritizing his summer. Once he got home, his emotions got to him and I thought it spoke a lot of him in a good way that he wanted to represent his country."

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Seider has played back-to-back 82 game seasons since entering the NHL in 2021-22. He first played in the World Championship in 2019, and the next month, Wings general manager Steve Yzerman selected the 6 foot 4, 205-pound defenseman at No. 6. Seider played the 2019-20 season with the Grand Rapids Griffins, and then spent the pandemic-altered 2020-21 season playing in Sweden. He returned to the World Championship in 2021 (there was no tournament in 2020 because of COVID), and was back in Germany's colors for the 2022 tournament, where he posted a personal best seven points in eight games (but Germany finished seventh).

Seider got in trouble in the quarterfinal game against Switzerland, when he was penalized for boarding Filip Varejcka, resulting in a boarding call and a game misconduct. Lalonde was at the game to scout what would be the Americans' next opponent.

"It was a hard play,' Lalonde said. "It was the right call, five and a game. I didn’t expect there would be anything more past that. That is how Mo plays — he plays hard, and that was a situation where at the last second, the numbers faced him, and he finished his check. It was the right call."

The Germans neutralized Switzerland, 3-1, setting up a semifinal vs. Lalonde and the U.S. The Americans led, 2-0, in the first period and 3-2 with less than two minutes to play in regulation. The Germans scored after pulling their goaltender, and put it away in overtime, 4-3.

"You’re happy for Mo," Lalonde said, "but at the time, it was disappointing for our guys."

Seider completed the tournament with two assists in the gold medal game, which the Germans lost, 5-2, to Canada.

Contact Helene St. James at Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames.

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Feeling a draft?

What: 2023 NHL draft.

When/where: June 28-29; Nashville, Tennessee.


The Red Wings’ picks (with overall picks in parentheses): Round 1 — No. 9 (9), No. 17 (17); Round 2 — No. 8 (41), No. 9 (42), No. 10 (43); Round 3 — No. 9 (73); Round 4 — No. 22 (118); Round 5 — No. 9 (137); Round 6 — No. 9 (169); Round 7 — No. 9 (201).

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Red Wings' Moritz Seider showed growth at World Championship