Sr. | F | Darien, Ill.
Key Statistics: Seidel spent much of last season playing on a line with Hobey Baker Award winner Jack Connolly and has the career-best numbers to prove it. His 17 goals, coupled with a few graduations and the early departure of J.T. Brown to the NHL, make him the Bulldogs’ top returning goal-scorer.
What He Does: It ended with the Bulldogs atop the college hockey mountain, but for Seidel the 2010-11 season was one of frustration. His point production seemed to dip just as the team’s fortunes rose, leaving an unfinished-business vibe despite the new banner hanging at Amsoil Arena. “I wanted more production. I knew I could do it, and I’d set the bar pretty high,” Seidel said. He got closer to clearing that bar last season and is looking to prove that he doesn’t need Connolly on his line to thrive as a senior.
The Bigger Picture: Chicago-area kids are apparently comfortable in a city on the shore of a big lake. In 2004, Illinois native Tim Stapelton was a star on Scott Sandelin’s first Frozen Four team. Seidel brought his NCAA championship ring back home to the Land of Lincoln last summer, and a few weeks ago he welcomed rookie Austin Farley, a Park Ridge native, to Duluth. “It’s nice to have a guy I can talk about the White Sox and the Hawks with,” Seidel joked. On the ice he’s anything but sociable, preferring to have the puck from the tops of the circles and down, working to create chaos for the opposing defense. Sandelin projects Seidel for one of the team’s top two lines. With Connolly, Brown and Travis Oleksuk gone, the coach admits that Seidel’s game epitomizes these Bulldogs, who will need to win by being a much more blue-collar team than fans have seen in recent years.
Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin on Seidel: “Mike is the kind of guy that’s not afraid to go into the tough areas. He’ll battle in the corners and in front of the net. I think he’s got a knack around the net and a lot of his goals are probably going to come from 10 or 15 feet from the net. That’s where you have to score nowadays. He’s one of those guys that hopefully our other guys can learn from.”