Germans who are good enough for the NHL…

By Oliver Janz

Marco Sturm

Listed are only players who played for germany at the world championships in germany. So, these are the most interesting players for the NHL-teams.

They play in this league (Sturm), the could be drafted (Goc, Greilinger, Seidenberg), they’ve played in the NHL (Goldmann, Benda), are overage players who hope to be drafted as a overage (Kreutzer, Müller) this year or last but not least Lüdemann, who hopes to get a chance in the try out camps.


Marco Sturm

Before the championship started all german hockey fans looked at the NHL Play-Off’s. German NHL-Players Jochen Hecht (St.Louis Blues), Marco Sturm (San Jose Sharks), Olaf Kölzig (Washington Capitals) and Sascha Goc (New Jersey Devils recall-list) are all appear for their teams in the NHL Play-Off’s. The Washington Caps and the SJ Sharks lose their series, but only Sturm comes to germany. Vezina-trophy-holder Kölzig suffers a injury after the series.

Marco Sturm get the chance and the germans are hopefully that he take the chance to lead this ‘new’ german national team. Sturm did it, he leads the young team in every game and recorded four goals and one assist in seven games. His breakaways are always dangerous. Those numbers garners him the title as germany’s topscorer.

Also, interesting stats are his face-off’s won-qoute with 52%, his 21 shots on goal, one power-play-goal hard shot against the czech republic. He also leds the german scoring chart with the best +/-statistic with +3. Anybody saw why the 22 year old forward plays in the NHL. Sturm shows unknown leadership qualities. A reason for this could be, that he was the only NHL-player and the other players from the german national team “let him led”. Back in the Sharks team next season, Sturm is only at the second or third line. But his appearing in germany helped the german players in their developing, Marcel Goc for example. He gets tips from Sturm and talk with him about north america.

Germany’s best player at the championships.

Marcel Goc

The seventeen year old center was the youngest player at the World championships. German’s top prospect shows his big talent in some situations, but he didn’t go the physical way and make only one or two checks a game. Goc’ style was more the playmaker as the goalgetter. He shots four time on the goal and his plus/minus was -4.

But, he hasn’t had a problem with the face-off’s against older players or NHL-stars. His statistic on his speciality is not only sensational for a young player, it seems to be more than very good for every pr hockey player because he won 23 of 33 attempts (70%). This aren’t news for those scouts who know Goc more than some months, his face-off-rate was even so goo in the DEL or at international tournaments

Many scouts take the chance to watch him at the world championships and he was the best CSB-ranked player who appeared there. Also, Gretzky praises him. It wasn’t the tournament of Marcel Goc but:

The championship helped him to jump in the first Draft-round.

Daniel Kreutzer

The twenty-one year old right wing (10/23/1979, 5’10”, 183 lbs., R) isn’t and wasn’t listed by the CSB. He’s also one of the best german scorers in the DEL, but the scouts noticed him at the championships for the first time. He hasn’t the big talent like a Marcel Goc, but he’s a very gifty player who has no fear and fights against anybody, which doesn’t mean that he’s a goon.

Kreutzer sice is official anounced with 5’10”, but he looks taller. You must have a big size to get a chance in world’s best league and this could be Kreutzer’s weakness in the draft or the try outs. But, his hope: players like Theo Fleury wasn’t the biggest, too – and their (and Kreutzer’s) never quit attitude makes those player types to fan favourites. His scourint touch remains after the seven points in seven games at last years b-pool world championships. Recorded four points (two goals and two assists) in seven games.

Was named to germany’s best forward from the IIHF officials.

Thomas Greilinger

It wasn’t Greilingers tournament. After last years breakthrough at the B-pool championships (he was germany’s topscorer) the 19 year old appeared in six ov seven games. Coach Hans Zach replace him in the last game against the finnish squad. Note: The also 19 year old boy who replaced him, defender Christoph Schubert was scratched off this list, because he only played in this game.
Greilinger’s spirit and skating were good enough for an high class international torunament, but the rest wasn’t. He recorded no point in his games and viewers only saw him in some side-skating moves.

Was in a bad condition.

Jan Benda

Former Washington Capital’ is one of the most valuable players in the german team. He has the most international experience and brings the physichal touch into the german roster. Known in north america from his spells in following teams: Henry Carr (OJHL), Oshawa Legion (OJHL), Oshawa Generals (OHL), Binghamton Rangers (AHL), Richmond Renegades (ECHL), Washington Capitals (NHL) and finally the Portland Pirates (AHL). He played also in the czech republic for Slavia and Sparta Praha and for Ässät Pori and Jokerit Helsinki in finland. The globetrotter will join AK Bars Kazan in russia for the next season and hopes to come back to the NHL in 2002 (like every year…). Starts the tournament as a defenseman (also plays at the blue line in power-play-situations) and recorded one assist at the championships.

Plays good and tough, but wasn’t a all-star.


Mirco Lüdemann

Lüdemann is one of the best skaters in germany, possible the best. And if i say germany i didn’t mean only the german players, i mean every player who appear in germany, also the imports from north america or other countries. Playing a good defense-part and assist on one goal, but his offensive-play could be better. Was born december, 15th in 1973 (5’11’, 186 Ibs., L) and played junior hockey from 1991 till 1993 for the Fort McMurray Oil Barons in the AJHL, the same team Senator’ Chris Phillips came from.

As a overage player he hopes to get a chance in the try out camps

Dennis Seidenberg

The surprise at the world championships for the scouts who don’t know him. Plays a sensational tournament, show cleverness, routine and coolness. His passing is exciting, the long passes from the own defense-zone are just excellent for a 19 year old prospect. Assisted on one goal and shots thirteen times on the goal…a two shots average per game a normally for him in the DEL, too.

A 100per cent draft choice for this year – many scouts are impressed by him. The “loosers” in his growing-progress are the scouts, who noticed him very late. And the CSB didn’t ranked him… But, CSB, if you currently don’t know who Seidenberg is, take a look:

Was named to germany’s best defenseman.

Erich Goldmann

Goldmann cames back from the north american minor leagues to Essen, germany in the last summer. Appeared in one NHL-game in 2000, but a injury stopped him after a few minutes. Played a solid and strong defense part at the world championships. But a NHL-comeback is impossible in the next years.

The time in north america helped him to grew up to a solid defenseman.


Robert Müller

The twenty year old shares his job with Christian Künast and play in three games. Has a 90,24% save percentage and a GAA 2,68. Müller was ranked on #5 in the 1998 end-season-rankings, #5 in the 1999 mid-season-rankings and also 1999 as #6 in the end-season-rankings in the european goalies-list by the CSB. Is a overage player now, but played a good tournament and possesses a little draft choice for this year. Maybe his big weaknesses are that he’s not big enough and that he’s only the back up goalie from Mike Rosati at his DEL-team.

Could and would be better in the next years

  • And last but not least the german fans are more than good enough for the NHL. Many officials and players praises the german fans like legendary Wayne Gretzky (“the loudest crowd i’ve ever heard”) or Jeff Friesen (“an unbelievable crowd who sings the whole time, they are fantastic”) and some german players (“our flesh began to creep”).

© Oliver Janz