Defenseman Ronan Seeley could be drafted by the San Jose Sharks this draft
The San Jose Sharks could be calling the name of 17-year-old defenseman Ronan Seeley come draft time. Having an August birthday, Seeley is on the younger side of the spectrum for this year’s draft-eligible players.
This season, Seeley played for the Everett Silvertips of the WHL. For the Silvertips, Seeley produced 32 points (three goals, 29 assists) and a plus/minus of +22 in 63 games.
His offensive production isn’t anything special, however, Seeley’s discipline and ability to stay out of the penalty box is impeccable. He only had six penalty minutes this season.
Seeley’s biggest asset is his skating ability. He’s considered an elite skater with his great acceleration, maximum speed in both directions, backward skating, and lateral movement. He’s one of the best, if not the best skaters in this class – out of both the forwards and defensemen.
With his elite skating, Seeley has an exceptional 200-foot game – he can lead the rush or come in as the trailer and still get back to play defense. His ability to still skate at a high speed while going backward makes it extremely difficult to beat him on the rush and one-on-one.
Additionally, his gap control is unmatched as a result of his skating ability. This could be why he takes so little penalties — he’s never in a situation where he might take one. Furthermore, Seeley has an active stick that he uses to break up passes effectively and cause turnovers.
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His outstanding agility and lateral movement allow him to change direction on a dot, further allowing him to avoid oncoming checks to continue his rush or dish the puck to a teammate.
Another thing that Seeley’s quickness allows him to do is retrieve loose pucks and dump-ins quickly. This allows him to catch other teams in the midst of a change by making a breakout pass quicker than expected.
Along with his quick skating, Seeley also has a low center of gravity. This allows him to be strong on the puck and fight through body and stick checks.
Seeley also has good hands, vision, and passing. He can stickhandle with ease at full speed and does an excellent job making a breakout pass and distributing the puck while he’s quarterbacking a power play or just at the point during a general cycle at even strength.
Another one of Seeley’s strengths is his hockey IQ. He knows when to pinch and when not to pinch and start backing up. Seeley also has an effective wrist shot that he keeps low. He knows when and how to use it — keeps it low for deflections and gets it through traffic and on net.
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What is perhaps Seeley’s biggest weakness is his size. At 5-foot-11 and 176 pounds, Seeley is undersized for the NHL and needs to add some muscle to fill his frame.
Because of his size, Seeley tends to stay away from the physical part of the game, especially board play — he would rather use his stick than his body.
Additionally, because of his lack of strength, Seeley tends to get beat by forwards that use the power game a decent amount. Again, this can be fixed with some added muscle.
Seeley also lacks a heavy, powerful slap shot from the blue line. This could be because of lack of size and strength and could be fixed by bulking up, but if he never acquires a boomer it wouldn’t be the end of the world for him.
San Jose Sharks Prediction
Ranked No. 97 by Future Considerations and No. 75 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters), Seeley will most likely go in the second or third round. With the Sharks having two second-round picks this year, I think Seeley would be a great selection with either pick.
He projects as a top-four defenseman and with the right development and coaching, Seeley could also be very effective as a quarterback for a secondary power-play unit and on the penalty kill.