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08-04-2011, 12:48 PM
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Nick Seeler

Originally Posted by
Would you rather …

1) Win a state high school hockey championship with the boys from the neighborhood?
2) Have your name called by the Minnesota Wild during the NHL Entry Draft just a half hour away from home?

Eden Prairie’s Nick Seeler accomplished both in a matter of three months.

“It’s an incredible feeling growing up and going to the games and watching the games and wanting to be a Wild player one day,” Seeler said. “And knowing you get an opportunity to be one.”

Xcel Energy Center has been awfully good to the gritty defenseman, who was selected in the fifth round (131st overall) Saturday afternoon in front of friends and family.

Seeler, who played with Wild second-round pick Mario Lucia on Triple-A teams, wasn’t on most pundits’ prospect lists, but his game – and stature – grew quickly during the 2010-2011 season with the state champion Eagles.

From 5-11 to almost 6-2 in one year, Wild Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr likes what he sees.

“Nick Seeler is a guy we saw throughout the year. He’s a competitive kid, can skate and moves the puck,” Flahr said. “We like his potential.”

In 28 games, Seeler scored 9 goals and 34 assists for 43 points for the Eagles. Highlights include a four-point performance against Bloomington Jefferson (two goals, two assists) and a whopping six assists against Hopkins, both during the regular season.

At crunch time, Seeler showed up. He tallied three assists in three section playoff games and scored six points (two goals, four assists) in Eden Prairie’s three games at the state tournament.

The Wild’s fifth-round pick might not have been fierce with the media Saturday, but he can be punishing on the ice, a quality not overlooked in the hockey world.

“I play with a nasty disposition I guess you could say,” said Seeler, whose sister Kelly plays hockey for the Gophers and oldest sister Ashley played soccer at the University of Minnesota.

University of Nebraska-Omaha Head Coach Dean Blais wants in on the action. The plan for Seeler is to play one year with Muskegon in the USHL before manning the blue line for the upstart Mavericks.

He’s got a feisty, physical demeanor along with good vision, hockey sense and a hard shot – desirable qualities for any defensive prospect.

“It’s definitely the beginning of hopefully a long journey,” Seeler said. “It just starts now. You have to keep working. The NHL guys are so good. I just have to keep working at the little things to get better and hopefully one day play for the Wild.”
Sounds to me like this kid is going to be the steal of the draft. Did you read the adjectives they used for him!? Absolute steal in the 5th round!

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