Patrick Sieloff has joined the Windsor Spitfires after shining with the U.S. under-18 team (Getty Images)Hard-hitting Patrick Sieloff is attempting to follow the path of the last shutdown defenceman who came from the U.S. national development team program and became a force in the Ontario Hockey League.
Sieloff, a husky 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, is not as hulking as 6-foot-7 Jarred Tinordi, the Montreal Canadiens first-rounder who just captained the London Knights to within a single goal of the MasterCard Memorial Cup. However, the Ann Arbor, Mich., native who announced last weekend that he will play for the Windsor Spitfires after the NHL draft uses his big frame well and is steadily getting better at playing a tidy, defensive defenceman's game. He wore an alternate captain's A on his jersey when he helped Team USA win its fourth IIHF under-18 gold medal in a row last month, playing big minutes for a squad that gave up only four goals in six games.
"I love how the OHL is an offensive kind of league but at the same time they need some guys who can be stay-at-home defencemen and rush up once in a while," Sieloff said Tuesday from Toronto, where he is attending the NHL combine. "I love the challenge of facing high-end offensive guys every night so when I go to the next level, I'll know how to handle it.
"I definitely look at guys like Jarred Tinordi and how they've done, as well forwards like [New York Rangers first-rounder] J.T. Miller [of the Plymouth Whalers]."
Sieloff, who is NHL Central Scouting's 31st-ranked North American skater, was initially committed to the NCAA's Miami RedHawks. However, he'll end up playing closer to home with the Spitfires, who got his OHL rights last November in the deal that sent U.S. NTDP grad Jack Campbell to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Windsor GM and vice-president Warren Rychel likens Sieloff to New Jersey Devils defenceman Anton Volchenkov, noting a physical defenceman was something the Spits lacked this season.Read More »from NHL draft tracker: Patrick Sieloff, U.S. under-18 team