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The Blackhawks announced Monday morning that they have claimed defenseman Nick Seeler off waivers from the Minnesota Wild. His contract runs through the 2020-21 season and carries a cap hit of $725,000.

Seeler doesn't have much offensive upside, but he's known to be a physical defenseman. The 26-year-old Minnesota native appeared in only six games for the Wild this season after being passed up on the depth chart and was expected to report to the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League for the second time in the last month if he cleared waivers.

He didn't, and Wild coach Bruce Boudreau told the Pioneer Press on Sunday that he would be happy for Seeler if another team takes a chance on him.

“I would love it if he did because he’s such a tremendous person,” Boudreau said. “He works so hard in practice. It’s just unfortunate. If we were [a top-tier team], I’d be playing him every second game to work him in. But we aren’t. We are fighting for our lives. ... He’s a classy guy. Nobody works harder than him in practice, too. It’s not like he’s coming and sulking. He’s done everything we’ve asked him.”

Seeler was drafted by the Wild in the fifth round (No. 131 overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft and has accumulated 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in 99 career games across three NHL seasons. He also registered two assists and averaged 17:23 of ice time in five playoff contests for the Wild during his rookie campaign in 2017-18.

 

Seeler gives the Blackhawks some depth on the back end and a gritty element they're always looking for. Fortunately for Seeler, he doesn't have to go very far. The Blackhawks practice in Minnesota on Monday before taking on the Wild on Tuesday night.

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