Minnesota Wild: Nick Seeler Ready to Continue His Long Road to the Wild


The Minnesota Wild took a risk when they drafted Nick Seeler in the fifth round of the 2011 draft.  The Eden Prairie native has used his size and physical play to show everyone thus far that he’s anything but a risk.

What you might remember about the 2011 draft is that the Minnesota Wild acquired one of their best defensive talents in years as the team drafted Swedish defender Jonas Brodin with the tenth overall pick.  What you might not remember is that the Wild acquired another bright defensive prospect named Nick Seeler with the 131st overall pick in the fifth round.  The Eden Prairie native was a standout high school player with a solid 6 foot 200 pound frame who had a bright future ahead of him.

Seeler was the leading scorer on an Eden Prairie team that captured the Minnesota AA state championship his senior year.  After the tournament he committed to play at University of Nebraska-Omaha, and then doubled his fortunes as the Wild came calling making him their fifth round selection in 2011.  The pick was seen as a reach by most as Seeler was not even on the list of the North American skaters complied by NHL’s Central Scouting, but the Wild were hoping that their inside knowledge of his game would pay off.

The next season Seeler would wait to enter college and took a season to play in the USHL in 2011-12.  He would put up good numbers that season (4 goals and 24 assists) with two different squads.  The next season saw Seeler start at UNO as a freshman spending time on the top pairing initially and would play solid minutes earning him co-honors as the Mavericks’ rookie of the year.  His sophomore year he once again play on the top defensive pairing for UNO playing solid minutes with good results.

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Just before his junior season in Omaha was about to start Seeler would leave the Mavericks citing personal reasons.  Left with little options he had no choice but transfer to the University of Minnesota and sit out an entire season due to NCAA rules.  Seeler was able to practice with the Gophers, but did not see game action till the next year.

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In his first season with the Gophers Seeler would come out of the gate strongly with excellent physical play in what was now his senior NCAA season.  He was lauded for excellent “highlight hits” that were a bright spot for a struggling club.  Gophers coach Don Lucia said this of Seeler to the Pioneer Press “I think he’s done a nice job for having sat out a year, He’s kept his composure, he’s kept his discipline. He brings that hard-nosed element to the team.”

Seeler would finish last season at the U with only 10 assists, but had an impressive plus/minus of +21 in 36 games.  The Gophers would not make the tournament and as soon as his year was over he wasted no time signing with the Wild to start back in March.

What Seeler will bring is more defensive depth to Iowa after much of their depth moved up to Minnesota or moved on.  His strong physical play and playmaking will be his tools to build on as he takes on the professional game.  He figures to be squarely in the group of starting and ending the season in Iowa.  But with Seeler what makes him most attractive is that he will have to prove himself like he has many times before, and that could make the difference in him eventually making the Wild.

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While it might be a bit before we see Seeler up with Minnesota, one thing is for sure it will probably happen.  His physical play will only get better with some AHL miles put under his skates.  That figures to be his way to the Wild by playing great defense and making solid decisions with the puck.  Sounds a lot like what he’s been doing at every level.