Prospect Reports for Ehelechner and the Seidenberg Brothers

By Oliver Janz

#91 Seidenberg, Yannic (Adler Mannheim – 17 Years old, NHL Entry Draft eligible 2002)

Prospect Report for the game Hannover against Mannheim on October, 28th:

#91 Seidenberg, Yannic (Adler Mannheim – 17 years old, NHL Entry Draft eligible 2002)

Yannic Seidenberg played for one minute and 30 seconds in the first period. He seemed to do anything he wanted except defensive work. He just spent the whole time skating in the offensive zone. In total, he took part in a fast break, made one pass and didn’t dish out any checks in the first period. The second 20 minute frame was played without him as Seidenberg watched with his butt firmly planted on the bench.

The third period saw him back on the ice. 50 Minutes and 15 seconds had been played when Hannover’s David Haas made the score 5-2 by completing the hattrick. Mannheim’s coach Bill Stewart recognized that there was no real chance to come back in this game so he decided to use this opportunity to give Seidenberg some ice time. The 17 year old wing garnered three minutes of playing five on five and – very important – he played over one minute positioned behind Hannover’s Goal on a power-play, which started in the 56th minute. If he finds himself in two or three more situations like that, then his first point at the pro level isn’t far away.

This could certainly be the case if Yannic gets to play alongside his older brother Dennis. One could see it during the warm-up and one could also see it during the game when Yannic was on the ice. Dennis always seems to have an eye on him. Since Dennis is bigger than his younger brother, it looks like a scene from a schoolyard recess; as if little Yannic were new at the school and would tell the other pupils “I’ll call my big brother if you hit me…”

Yannic’s situation this season with the Adler Mannheim in the DEL is not all that bad. Coach Stewart is a former OHL coach who knows how to work with young talent. “Yannic is a highly talented forward and quick on his skates. He won’t play on the third line this year though – this season is just for learning how to play with the pros. He’s in the same boat his brother Dennis was in last season.” Let’s not forget that big bro Dennis Seidenberg was two years older than Yannic currently is when he stepped into the DEL.

#86 Seidenberg, Dennis (Adler Mannheim – 20 years old, Philadelphia Flyers Draft Pick in 2001)

This was another good game for Dennis Seidenberg. He played alongside his partner Brad Bergen and they were the best defensive pairing in this game – on either team. Seidenberg found himself on the bench during all five of Hannover’s goals and finished with a +1 rating in this game, having been on the ice as former Washington Capital Stefan Ustorf scored the 1-1 Equalizer. This rating isn’t normal when you lose a game by a three goal difference.

His performance during the first period was pretty good. Good checks in his own defense zone, playing on the power play and penalty killing units, strong penalty killing in front of his goal – overall, his positional play is better than it was during last season. The young defender had only a few problems when taking on opposition forwards who would speed into his defense zone. His biggest problems were directly at the red line. Otherwise, if Seidenberg is in an one-on-one situation behind the goal, he use his stick and his back to retrieve the puck, and that seems to work well.

Dennis displayed another weakness in the second period. Now Seidenberg isn’t small. He already has quite a good bit of muscle, but if he checks and fights against a forward like George Zajankala, who weighs 20-30 pounds more than Seidenberg, Dennis has some problems. The Mannheim defender took two hard checks from Zajankala, who seemed to win the battle, but not the fight. Seidenberg stood back up, skated beside Zajankala and blabbered a little small talk like “That’s all?” and there was a little shoving around. All in all: Mannheim lost the game but Seidenberg didn’t play as poorly as some of his teammates did and all three of his long passes from his own zone to the forwards 40-50 meters in front of him found his teammate. There’s no doubt about it, his passing is a strength.

#33 Ehelechner, Patrick (Hannover Scorpions – 17 years old, NHL Entry Draft eligible 2003)

It wasn’t Ehelechner’s first DEL-Game, but he said this game was very important for him. The 17 year old netminder is Mannheim’s third goalie, but he was Hannover’s number one in this game. Ehelechner is playing on loan for the Scorpions until November 5th or, if Hannover’s first two Goalies need more time to recover from their injuries, until November 12th. After playing some good Games in the last two weeks for Hannover, Patrick started the game against Mannheim’s number 1 goalie, Mike Rosati. Washington Capitals’ draft pick Robert Müller (Mannheim) watched the whole game from the bench as Rosati’s back-up.

Now to the Game. It was easy to forget Ehelechner’s age after a few minutes and after a few good saves. However, he has weaknesses like any other goaltender. His biggest problem right now is handling the rebounds. The initial saves are good, but he must find a way to hold onto the puck afterwards. The situation when Mannheim scored the 1-1 equalizer was the result of a rebound. Ehelechner did a good job saving a shot by Mannheim’s forward Steve Junker. The puck then jumped back into play from his glove and Chris Straube took another shot, which Ehelechner also saved. But while laying down on the ice he had no chance to save the next shot coming from Ustorf. The young Goalie was not at fault. His defenders did a poor job, failing to check Mannheim’s forward’s away from their Goal.

In the second period, Patrick allowed the second goal against, being the last goal for Mannheim against their “own Goalie”. It was a short-handed tally by Junker, who got a break, skated towards Hannover’s goal and simply shot the puck. Ehelechner stopped the puck with a strong save, but as he was falling down to the ice, he lost the puck and it settled one inch away from his glove. He tried to get it one time, a second and a third time, but couldn’t bring the puck under control. Junker crashed the goalmouth and scored the goal. The next challenge came three minutes later as Ilja Vorobjev sent two shots at Ehelechner, who didn’t go down on his knees and managed to save the puck with his body – his best save during the Game. The last period was a little bit boring when compared to the first two periods.

Patrick Ehelechner is Mannheim’ property. The traditional handshakes after the Game were full of congratulations for him by his past and future teammates from Mannheim, especially from back-up Robert Müller, captain Stephane Richer and the #27, former Calgary Flames’ forward, Todd Hlushko, who also talked to him before the game started. Only one guy shook hands, said “good game” and skated away. Mike Rosati. This wasn’t his best game as he allowed five goals against him and was far from the form that led to his good performances over the last few weeks. He had a .849 save percentage. Ehelechner’s was .926 %. So basically, Mannheim’s first string goalie was beaten by Mannheim’s third stringer.

Patrick received a few words of praise after the game from Bill Stewart. “He played very good, won his second game and gathered some very important experience in the DEL.” When questioned as to what would happen if Rosati or Müller would get injured (supposedly after Patrick’s time with Hannover) was answered with Stewart proclaiming that Ehelechner will get a chance and that Mannheim doesn’t wish to sign another, older Goalie.

Game Notes:

Hannover Scorpions – Adler Mannheim 5-2 (1-1, 3-1, 1-0)

Scoring Summary:

1-0 (7:50) Wally Schreiber (Jakob Karlsson, Mattias Lööf)
1-1 (18:37) Stefan Ustorf (Chris Straube, Steve Junker)
1-2 (21:39) Steve Junker (Mike Stevens) 4-5
2-2 (22:33) Len Soccio (Dominic Lavoie, Jakob Karlsson) 5-4
3-2 (29:18) David Haas (George Zajankala, Dominic Lavoie)
4-2 (31:35) David Haas (Len Soccio, Dominic Lavoie)
5-2 (50:15) David Haas (Len Soccio, Wally Schreiber)

HF’s Three Star’s:

David Haas (Hannover), 3 goals, hattrick
Len Soccio (Hannover), 1 goal, 2 assists
Patrick Ehelechner (Hannover), 27 SOG, 25 Saves, Sav.% .926

Crowd: 5,813 (Preussag Arena Hannover)


New Award Section:

Hockey’s Future Germany presents the “Draftee of the Month” and the “Prospect of the Month” awards. Eligible players for the Draftee of the Month Award are: all drafted players who are active for a german hockey team – like Marcel Goc, Dimitri Pätzold or Christoph Schubert. Eligible for the Prospect of the Month Award are: all undrafted players who are active for a german hockey team and under 23 year’s (birthday-deadline: 1/1/1978). Players like Thomas Greilinger, Daniel Kreutzer or Andreas Morczinietz.

The first winner’s:

HF’s Draftee of the Month for September: Dennis Seidenberg (Adler Mannheim/DEL)

9 games, 1 goal, 4 assists, 5 points, -1, 10 penalty minutes, was named the Best Player of the Game two times and was called into the All-Star-Team of the Week. Mannheim’s topscoring defender in September.

HF’s Prospect of the Month for September: Vitalij Aab (Nürnberg Ice Tigers/DEL)

8 games, 4 goals, 4 assists, 8 points, +2, 0 penalty minutes. Nürnberg’s topscorer with eight points. Get many ice-time in the new top line from the Ice Tigers alongside former Bowling Green graduate Martin Jiranek and 23 year old David Sulkovsky. A line which possesses passing (Jiranek), skating (Sulkovsky) and scoring (Aab). Aab was born in November 1979 in Karaganda, Kazakhstan and has the german citizenship. He is one of the german-russian’s from last year’s second league team EC Wilhelmshaven, other’s are Boris Blank or Eduard Lewandowski for example. Aab will play for the german national team at the Deutschland-Cup next weekend.