German Draftee Situation, Part 2

By Oliver Janz

Change of team = change of mind

Change of team = change of mind?

It’s time to say goodbye to Munich for Christoph Schubert. The 20 year old defender from the Munich Barons is willing to leave his hometown for another DEL team. Rumors have been present for quite some time. While being in Salt Lake City, Schubert finally announced his deal with his new team in an interview with the German broadcaster ‘Premiere World’. The Nuremberg Ice Tigers will be the team boasting Schubert in their line-up. Schubert, a Senators prospect, and Ice Tigers’ general manager Otto Sykora reached an agreement. Schubert will sign a two year contract starting next season. What’s the reason for leaving the Barons for the Ice Tigers? Both teams are comparable in talent and experience and both are Top 4 teams in the DEL. His playing time should theoretically be about the same as in Munich.

“I’ll try everything to reach the NHL” and he thought that a change of teams would help him to get more experience. That’s his official statement. However, it has been a curious season for Christoph Schubert. Barons’ General Manager Max Fedra told the media at the beginning of the season that “Schubert doesn’t play like a NHLer, but he thinks he’s one of them.” Fedra talked about his playing style and his arrogance. National coach Hans Zach agreed with him. A few days after that, Fedra and Zach apologized to Christoph for these statements. Unfortunately, there are also some rumors that coach Sean Simpson was not impressed by Christoph’s playing style over the span of several weeks. Right now, after the Olympic break, we can say that Schubert has developed nicely during the last few months, yet not as good as the Senators management and Schubert himself thought.

However, Nuremberg could be the better place for his development and if he works on himself (as was the case in February), Christoph Schubert will be able to make his way into the NHL, after a very eye-opening Olympic debut. For sure, his first step over to North America will most likely be the minors. This should play an especially big role in his development because Schubert likes the physical game.

HF’s Prediction: Schubert’s movement to Nuremberg isn’t yet officially announced. This will happen after the season ends. The next two years are very important for his development.


The best way is to stay

Since Germany had three draftees at the Olympics, the hockey world got to see the smooth skater (Seidenberg), the best checking defender (Schubert) and last but not least, the coast-to-coast guy Christian Ehrhoff. Ehrhoff was drafted as one of three Germans by San Jose in last summer’s NHL Entry Draft. Since then, Ehrhoff has developed well. To say it in scoring numbers: Ehrhoff’s stats after last year’s regular season: 58 games played, 3 goals, 11 assists for 14 points. Two weeks before the regular season 2001/2002 ends, his current stats are: 44 games played, 6 goals and 16 assists for 22 points.

Ehrhoff also became a sure member of the German national team and skated for his native country in Salt Lake City against players like Jaromir Jagr, Eric Lindros, Mats Sundin or Mario Lemieux. This was the biggest moment in his career so far. Another big point this season was his appearance at the Under-20 world junior championships, B-division. The 20 year old Ehrhoff became the top scoring defender for the second time and was named the top defender of the tournament – for the second time too.

Everything’s fine. He won’t come over to North America this summer, he isn’t really ready yet – he thinks. He needs at least one more year in Germany to display the skills that are necessary for the NHL. He will only change his opinion if the Sharks decided to gave him a one way contract after the evaluation camp in august. In that case, Christian Ehrhoff will stay for one more year in Krefeld, Germany. His contract ends after the 2002/2003 season.

HF’s Prediction: Will stay in Germany for one more year. After next year, anything can happen.


Many UPs, but where are the DOWNs?

It’s history for over half a year now and it’s enough time to follow the development of Philadelphia Flyers’ draft pick Dennis Seidenberg. It’s also enough time to say that this pick was just one thing: awesome. He was picked at position 167. Now, it is safe to say that that was about 100 positions to late. Seidenberg is known as a smooth skater, a defender with offense skills. Besides, he’s a player who doesn’t show many ups and downs during a game. He has played nearly the whole season at the same level. However, we shouldn’t forget the fact that Seidenberg is one year older than Schubert and Ehrhoff and he isn’t the biggest defender in the world – and the Flyers like big defensemen. Using only big defensemen isn’t always the best way, so Philadelphia will have a place for him whether it’s in the AHL or the NHL. For now, his league is the DEL.

The fans of the Adler Mannheim are very proud to have a player like him. The question is, how long will he continue to wear the Adler jersey? Seidenberg is under contract ’til the end of April 2003. A movement to another DEL team isn’t very likely. If he stays in Germany, a contract extension isn’t far away. But what if he doesn’t stay in Germany? After he pushed his scoring points from 7 to 17, displayed the best +/- rate of all German players at the Olympics, and his steady and regular performances for Mannheim … how far away is he from cracking the Philadelphia lineup?

There’s no doubt that another year with increasing icetime in all situations in Germany will help him. Unfortunately for Mannheim’s fans, that’s not the question. The question is: Is he ready for the Philadelphia Phantoms or maybe for the Philadelphia Flyers? It seems so. The evaluation camp will help the Flyers’ officials and Seidenberg make a decision as to what will be the best way for him.

HF’s Prediction: Seidenberg will join the Phantoms in 2002 or 2003 to fight for a Flyers’ roster spot.