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Flyers Re-Sign Seeler to Two-Year Extension

May 20, 2022, 7:42 AM ET [310 Comments]
Bill Meltzer
Philadelphia Flyers Blogger •NHL.com • RSSArchiveCONTACT
On Thursday, the Flyers announced that they have re-signed depth defenseman Nick Seeler to a two-year contract at a $775,000 cap hit. The first year of the contract is a one-way deal that will pay him the full amount regardless of whether he plays in the NHL with the Flyers or the American Hockey League with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Year two is a two-way scale, paying an NHL rate and a lower rate if Seeler goes down to the AHL.

Seeler, who will turn 29 on June 3, beat out veteran Adam Clendening for an NHL roster spot out of training camp. Due to the Flyers' blueline being riddled with injuries, Seeler dressed in 21 of the season's first 23 games. After the Flyers claimed Kevin Connauton off waivers from the Florida Panthers, Seeler and Connauton rotated in and out of the lineup for varying stretches of time.

Ultimately, Seeler dressed in 43 of the season's 82 games and averaged 13:05 of ice time. Primarily, he played on the third pairing with Keith Yandle. Seeler scored one goal (Feb. 15 against Pittsburgh) and recorded his only two assists of the season in the Feb. 9 home loss to the Detroit Red Wings. He took 29 penalty minutes including a memorable fight with gargantuan Seattle Kraken defenseman Jamie Oleksiak in the season's second game.

Seeler is an old-school defensive defenseman. He is a reliable defender but has limited ability with the puck on his stick. Physicality and shot blocking are his strengths. Seeler was credited with 75 hits (third among Flyers defensemen) and averaged 8.0 hits per 60 minutes (second to only Rasmus Ristolainen) and blocked 67 shots (7.14 per 60 minutes, the highest rate among Flyers' D-men).

From a puck possession standpoint, Seeler had an on-ice 44.63 percent Corsi at 5-on-5, 45.09 percent Fenwick, 40.48 percent expected goals share. Seeler post 32 shots on goal, had 19 attempts blocked and missed the net on 16 attempts. Seeler was charged with 17 giveaways and credited with four takeaways. In general, Seeler keeps things as simple as possible with the puck.

The Flyers third pairing was a trouble spot for the club on the ice for most of the 2021-22 season. It should be noted that Yandle struggled with virtually every partner he played with over the campaign. During the latter part of the season -- prior to suffering an injury that kept him out the rest of schedule after April 2 -- the Flyers periodically skated Seeler with different partners.

Ideally, Seeler's usage is that of a No. 7 or No. 8 defenseman, depending on how many D the Flyers will carry next season. He can be plugged into the lineup here and there when there are injuries and not hurt the team from a defensive standpoint. Playing in 21 of the first 23 games was more than anticipated and was not ideal.

To his credit, Seeler's work ethic and attitude remained very strong no matter how frequently or infrequently he played. He's a low-maintenance player and a good teammate who keeps himself ready to play for whenever he gets the opportunity to be in the lineup. If the time comes in 2022-23 or 2023-24 that he is waived and assigned to Lehigh Valley, he'd have a positive attitude about it and be a good influence on younger teammates.
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