Detroit Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider got what he deserved: He was the top vote-getter for the 2022 Calder Trophy.
The annual award recognizes the NHL’s top rookie. It’s the first time it has gone to a Wings player since Roger Crozier in 1965. Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association voted at the conclusion of the regular season. Anaheim Ducks forward Trevor Zegras and Toronto Maple Leafs forward Michael Bunting were the other finalists.
Seider was in attendance to accept the trophy at the NHL Awards show Tuesday in Tampa, Florida.
“It’s a really big honor,” Seider said, after pausing to pick up the card with the winner’s name, which had fallen from presenter Jake Thibeault’s lap as he sat in his wheelchair, and returning it to Thibeault. “I didn’t prepare a speech, so, just go with the flow, and don’t mess it up.
“Great organization with Detroit, gave me a lot of trust. Very happy to be here.”
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Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman, and Igor Shesterkin won the Vezina Trophy (voted on by NHL general managers) as the top goaltender. Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews took home the Ted Lindsay Award (MVP as voted on by the NHL Players Association) and the Hart Trophy.
Seider joked his parents couldn’t be there because “they just got back from Croatia and they thought it was more important to go on vacation.”
Seider also thanked “the city of Detroit. Great fans It’s very fun to be a Red Wing.”
Seider received 170 of 195 possible first-place votes. His 1,853 points thumped Zegras’ 1,191 and Bunting’s 877. Wings teammate Lucas Raymond finished fourth in voting with 499 points.
Seider accomplished something that eluded three of the biggest stars in franchise history: Hall of Famers Steve Yzerman, Sergei Fedorov and Nicklas Lidstrom. All three were runner-ups: Yzerman in 1984 to Tom Barrasso; Fedorov in 1991 to Ed Belfour, and Lidstrom in 1992 to Pavel Bure.
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Seider was drafted at No. 6 in 2019. He spent the 2019-20 season with the Grand Rapids Griffins. He had been earmarked to begin his NHL career in the fall of 2020, but that was waylaid by the pandemic. Instead, the Wings loaned Seider to Rögle in the Swedish Hockey League, and Seider thrived to the extent he was named the SHL Defenseman of the Year. He parlayed that into a stellar start to his Wings career, becoming the first defenseman since Lidstrom in 2010-11 to reach 50 points.
“Mo immediately became an impact player and set numerous Red Wings rookie records this year, and I’m proud to join our team, fans and the NHL in saluting his accomplishments,” Wings owner Chris Ilitch said in a statement. “We’re thrilled for Mo and his family, and look forward to his bright future as we all work towards our goal of bringing the Stanley Cup back to Hockeytown.”
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