Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2020 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we look at Ronan Seeley.
With an August 2002 birthdate, Ronan Seeley is one of the younger prospects in this NHL Draft. A first-round pick (20th overall) of the Everett Silvertips in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft, this later birthdate helps to explain why it took him a little longer to break out and also indicates that he’s a bit further from his ceiling than other prospects in this draft. In 2018-19 he put up just one goal and eight assists for nine points in 52 games with the Everett Silvertips. He also added one goal in 10 playoff games. Things took a definite uptick this past season. Seeley scored three goals and 29 assists for 32 points in 63 games with Everett. He was given more ice-time and responsibility and thrived in the role.
Seeley has also represented Canada on the international level. He was part of Team Canada White at the 2018 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. In midget, Seeley led the Lethbridge Hurricanes Midget AAA squad to an AMHL Championship. He put up seven points in seven games at the Telus Cup and was named tournament MVP. Seeley also helped Team Alberta to a second-place finish in the WHL Cup.
Ronan Seeley Scouting Report
Defence — shoots Left
Born August 2nd, 2002 — Olds, Alberta
Height 6’0″ — Weight 175 lbs [183 cm / 79 kg]
Seeley is an outstanding skater and this helps him to play an effective 200-foot game. He has very good top-end speed in both directions, with the acceleration and first step to match. His backwards skating is particularly good, making him very hard to beat off the rush. Seeley has excellent lateral agility and edgework. He can stop, or change directions on a dime. His pivots and turns are quick and smooth. Seeley transitions quickly from offence to defence and vice-versa. A low centre of gravity helps him to be strong on the puck and to battle in the corners. However, he is still a little undersized and will need to add more muscle to his frame before being ready to play in the pros.
Seeley combines his excellent skating with very good stickhandling ability. He can handle the puck and make plays while moving at top speed. Seeley can skate the puck past forecheckers and get it out of danger in his own end, starting the transition game. He can lead the rush through the neutral zone or join in as a trailer and still get back defensively. Thanks to his speed and ability to control the puck, he is very good at generating successful zone entries, especially on the powerplay. Seeley has good vision and is a good passer. He can make plays starting the transition, leading the rush, and in quarterbacking the play at the blue line. With his quick hands and lateral agility, he can make a quick move to open up a passing lane and get the puck to a teammate.
Seeley is much more of a playmaker than a trigger man. His slap shot lacks power. It is hoped that it will improve with added upper body strength, but he is still unlikely to become a big bomber from the point. Seeley is effective with his wrist shot though. He doesn’t score a lot of goals with it, but he keeps it low and gets it through traffic and on the net. This gives teammates the opportunity to get deflections and to pounce on rebounds. A smart player, Seeley is good at picking his spots for when to pinch in at the line and when to back up and play more defensively.
Seeley’s strong skating allows him to maintain very good gap control. He is very tough to beat in one-on-one situations and his quick stick allows him to steal the puck off of his opponents. He is a smart defender who reads the play extremely well. Seeley cuts down passing lanes and creates turnovers. His ability to get back to retrieve dump-ins and loose pucks and quickly transition them out of the zone helps to limit zone time and this is valuable defensively. One issue though is that his lack of size and strength can be an issue if facing more powerful opponents.
Projection and Comparison
Seeley is part of the new style of slick skating, puck-moving defencemen that are becoming more and more popular in recent years. He will need to add muscle going forward. However, with time and proper development he could eventually become a top-four defenceman who can contribute on a second power-play unit and also help to kill penalties. His game is reminiscent of Jared Spurgeon, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill or ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Ronan Seeley that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Ronan Seeley Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images
KELOWNA, BC – FEBRUARY 28: Ronan Seeley #8 of the Everett Silvertips stops on the ice with the puck against the Kelowna Rockets at Prospera Place on February 28, 2020 in Kelowna, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)