Nick Leddy and rookie Moritz Seider should make up the Detroit Red Wings top pairing to start the 2021 NHL season.
I believe the day has finally come that most Detroit Red Wings fans have anticipated for the past couple of seasons. Moritz Seider is expected to make his NHL debut this season, and I hope head coach Jeff Blashill will skate the Red Wing phenom with newly acquired veteran defender Nick Leddy.
Seider’s first season as a professional came with the Grand Rapid Griffins, where he recorded two goals and totaled 22 points in 49 games in 2019-20. The young defender had his share of ups and downs during his time with the Griffins but eventually proved he belonged.
The 20-year old is the whole package. At 6-foot-3, playing around 210-pounds is a wrecking ball on the ice. He’s fearless and willing to use his body as a battering ram on the ice, plus he’s shown some promise in the offensive zone as a scorer and someone who can anchor the power-play. Seider recorded a goal and an assist in Monday’s preseason game in Chicago; both points came on the power-play.
Last season the Detroit Red Wings loaned Seider to Rogle BK Angelholm of the Swedish Hockey League (SEL) due to the coronavirus pandemic. Seider excelled, scoring seven times and totaling 28 points in just 41 contests. Seider was later named as the leagues’ top defenceman for his outstanding season.
It may take some time, but I expect Seider to grow into the force on Detroit’s backend that most of us expect.
Leddy projects to be the perfect mentor for the young Seider. Leddy is a reliable two-way defender and someone Yzerman values after adding him from the New York Islanders.
Yzerman moved some of Detroit’s coveted draft capital to land Leddy. The Red Wings traded veteran forward Richard Panik and a second-round selection via Edmonton for the 30-year old defender. Detroit also retained the maximum salary allowed (50%) of what is owed to Panik, $1.375 million in each of the next two seasons.
Leddy is coming off a promising season where he recorded 31 points, albeit only scoring twice in 56 games. Expect head coach Jeff Blashill to lean on Hronek, Leddy, and the emerging Seider in critical situations throughout the upcoming season.
As of now, I predict Gustav Lindstrom to be the odd-man-out, but I expect he will still see plenty of ice for the Red Wings in the upcoming season.
Stay tuned as I predict the Detroit Red Wings line combinations in the coming days.