The Philadelphia Flyers counted on Nick Seeler as a depth defenseman this season. That will continue for the next two years.
They signed the potential free agent to a two-year, one-way/two-way contract with an annual cap hit of $775,000, according to general manager Chuck Fletcher.
Seeler, 28, a Minnesota native, didn’t score much (three points), but provided physicality on the back end in 43 games with the Flyers last season. He had a minus-3 rating, which was third among the Flyers (and second among defensemen) who played in at least 40 games.
The 6-2, 201-pound Seeler was selected in the fifth round by the Wild in 2011 while Fletcher was Minnesota’s general manager. He has played parts of four NHL seasons with the Wild, Chicago, and the Flyers.
He could battle for a spot on the Flyers’ third pairing next season, but likely will be their No. 7 defenseman. The Flyers are expected to make some moves this summer, but as of now, here is how the defense looks:
Top pairing: Ivan Provorov and Ryan Ellis (assuming he is healthy).
Second pairing: Travis Sanheim and Rasmus Ristolainen.
Third pairing: Cam York and ???
Seeler, Egor Zamula, and Linus Hogberg are among the candidates for a third-pairing spot. Ronnie Attard is expected to start next season with the AHL’s Phantoms, but he will also be given a chance to make the Philadelphia Flyers in training camp.
More than likely, the Flyers will sign a veteran unrestricted free agent — a Justin Braun type — to play alongside York and help him grow into his position.