In his first game with the Blackhawks, Nick Seeler quickly showed his new teammates what type of player he was. Known for his willingness to fight, Seeler dropped the gloves with Jets’ defenseman Nathan Beaulieu and even picked up a secondary assist.
Seeler played over 15 minutes in total that game while registering two hits and blocked two shots. It seemed the Blackhawks had found another player whose energy could help an oftentimes lethargic Blackhawks team, much similar to what Dennis Gilbert had brought just a few months prior. But just like Gilbert, Seeler’s inconsistencies began to show and he found himself out the of the lineup just as quickly as he had entered.
Seeler’s Six-Game Season
Seeler played in six games for the Blackhawks in the 2019-20 season and averaged just over 13 minutes of ice time per game. By the last game, Jeremy Colliton and fans were left wondering what had happened to the hard-nosed defenseman that had surprised them all that first game. Seeler did not fight again, did not take even one penalty, and registered just 12 hits in five games. His 5v5 on numbers did not help his case much either.
Individually, Seeler’s possession numbers were bleak. His Corsi-for% (shots on goal, attempted shots, and blocked shots combined) was just 40.72 according to Natural Stat Trick. On a team that already didn’t fair well at 5v5, that just wouldn’t cut it.
The Blackhawks paired Seeler with Connor Murphy in an attempt to insulate the newly-acquired defenseman. As a pair, Seeler and Murphy had a Corsi for% of 41.32 and an almost humorously low shots-for% of 33.82. It was apparent this little experiment was not going to work, and in the Blackhawks’ final game before the season was postponed, Seeler was a healthy scratch as Nicolas Beaudin was inserted into the lineup.
What’s Next for Seeler?
There is just one year left on Seeler’s current contract of three years, $725K per before he becomes a UFA after the 2020-21 season. It’s hard to see Seeler getting another chance with the Blackhawks, even more so with the recent signing of Ian Mitchell who is projected to be in the lineup next season. As quickly as Nick Seeler made his presence felt that first game against Winnipeg, it faded away just as fast.