On Wednesday morning, the NHL announced that the three finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy include Moritz Seider, Michael Bunting, and Trevor Zegras.
The Red Wings’ sixth overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft was able to step seamlessly into Detroit’s lineup and immediately became the go-to guy on the backend.
Coming into the season, Seider’s defensive game was well documented from his previous season in the SHL, where he was named the Defenseman of the Year. Still, the question was how big of an impact he would have offensively. Seider had the third-best offensive season by a rookie defenseman in Red Wings history, only behind Nicklas Lidstrom and Reed Larson.
Seider played all 82 games this season, finishing with seven goals and 43 assists for a total of 50 points while averaging over 23 minutes per game, which is over two minutes more than any other rookie. Seider also ranks first amongst rookies in assists and fourth in points.
Seider did all of this without a consistent partner, as throughout the season, he played with the likes of Nick Leddy, Danny DeKeyser, and Jordan Oesterle. With all due respect to those three players, they are not top-pair caliber defensemen, which leads to Seider carrying the majority of the workload on both sides of the ice.
He also finished 19th in the entire NHL for points by a defenseman, not too shabby for a 20-year-old.
While Zegras and Bunting both had excellent rookie campaigns, it’s a rarity in NHL history for a rookie defenseman to have a season as Moritz Seider did. Amongst the consensus, it seems that the Calder Trophy is all but certainly going to be awarded to Seider at the NHL awards in June.