#3: LD Nick Seeler (Philadelphia Flyers)
Nick Seeler is the definition of what the New Jersey Devils want from a third-pair, left-handed defenseman. A true stay-at-home defenseman who takes few risks and minimizes opposing scoring chances by shutting down the rush and clogging up passing and shooting lanes.
Standing 6’2″ – 205 lbs., Seeler is as average as it gets in terms of size in the NHL, but it’s how he uses his size that makes him an imposing threat on the backend.
The immediate drawback is that in his 5 years of being in the NHL, he’s played on three different teams, and trading for him would make that four teams. Furthermore, because he’s a stay-at-home guardian, he offers the minimum in terms of offensive production.
In 225 career games played, Nick Seeler has just 7 goals and 22 assists to his name. Fortunately for both him and the Devils, he doesn’t need to worry about offense based on his abilities to limit offensive production from the other team.
Staying true to his role, he loves using his body to help his team stay in the fight, which was something missing from on Devils in their second-round series against the Carolina Hurricanes in the spring. With the 2022-23 season spent on the Philadelphia Flyers roster, Nick Seeler was one of the few bright spots on an otherwise embarrassing excuse of a hockey team.
The three biggest points of emphasis for a third-pair defensive defenseman in hockey are to (1) get in passing and shooting lanes, (2) finish every hit (especially on the boards), and (3) limit turnovers. Last season in 77 games played in the black and orange, Seeler had 161 blocked shots, 126 hits, and was held to just 24 giveaways (9 takeaways).
In comparison to the rest of the New Jersey Devils blueline during the 2022-23 season, Nick Seeler would rank 5th in games played, 6th in time on ice, and 1st in shot blocks and hits, respectively. Only Brendan Smith (102) and Jonas Siegenthaler (101) eclipsed the 100-hit mark last season for the Devils’ blue line last season.
To tie this up with a bow, Nick Seeler’s contract is in its final year and has an annual average value of just $775,000, making the cost to acquire him in a trade package being negligible. Based on how big of a steal bringing in Jonas Siegenthaler has been, it makes bringing in another guy like him that much more favorable. The New Jersey Devils need players like Nick Seeler by the dozen.