Seider and Veleno Head to World Junior Championship
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday reassigned defenseman Moritz Seider from the Grand Rapids Griffins to Germany’s U20 National Team and center Joe Veleno from the Griffins to Canada’s U20 National Team for the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Seider, 18, and Veleno, 19, will represent their countries at the tournament that runs Dec. 26, 2019-Jan. 5, 2020 in Ostrava and Trinec, Czech Republic. More information about the tournament can be found at iihf.com.
This marks the second consecutive year a player has left the Griffins mid-season to compete in the World Junior Championship after Filip Zadina represented the Czech Republic at the 2019 event. Tomas Tatar also suited up for Slovakia during his rookie campaign with Grand Rapids in 2009-10.
A native of Zell, Germany, Seider was named the best defenseman at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship Division 1 tournament. Captaining the team as a double-underaged player, he tied for second on the club with seven points (1-6—7) in five games to help Germany advance to the top group for this year’s World Junior Championship. Seider made his senior national team debut for Germany at the 2019 IIHF World Championship and registered two goals in five games. He became just the third defenseman aged 18-or-younger to record a point at the World Championship, and the first since 1982.
Seider won a bronze medal with Germany at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship Division 1. At the 2018 World Under-18 Championship Division 1, he won a silver medal and was named the tournament’s best defenseman on the way to helping Germany earn a spot into the top tier for the next season. Seider also played in five games at the 2017 World Under-18 Championship Division 1 tournament.
Selected sixth overall in this year’s NHL Entry Draft by Detroit and the first German defenseman to be selected in the first round of an NHL Entry Draft, Seider matches Zadina as the highest Red Wings draft pick to ever play for the Griffins. Tying for the second-youngest player in the AHL this season, Seider ties for seventh among rookie defensemen in scoring with 12 points (1-11—12) in 28 games.
A native of Kirkland, Quebec, Veleno will be making his second consecutive appearance for Canada at the World Junior Championship. He posted two assists in five games and helped Canada reach the quarterfinals at the 2019 event.
Veleno captained the team to a gold medal at the 2018 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament after recording a team-high seven points (2-5—7) in five games. He also tallied three assists in four games at the 2018 World Under-18 Championship and four points (1-3—4) for Canada Black at the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Drafted 30th overall by the Red Wings in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, Veleno shows 12 points (5-7—12) while playing in all 29 games during his professional debut with the Griffins. Veleno and Seider are among five recent Red Wings first-round draft picks, and seven overall, who have played for Grand Rapids this season.
Photos by Sam Iannamico/Griffins