Rugged has always been a part of Nick Seeler's game.
The Eden Prairie defenseman, who played his college hockey at the University of Minnesota, finished his collegiate career last spring with six goals and almost 160 penalty minutes in 106 games.
He said no thanks to his final year of college eligibility in March, when the Minnesota Wild draft pick signed a two-year entry level pro contract.
Seeler's physical style of play was on display recently. His Iowa Wild (the NHL Wild's farm team) visited the home rink of the Charlotte Checkers in an American Hockey League tilt Saturday night.
During the first period, Charlotte forward Connor Brickley skated full speed into Iowa's defensive zone and nailed Wild defenseman Zach Palmquist from behind, the dangerous hit sending the vulnerable blue liner head-first to the ice.
Although Palmquist sprung back up, Seeler took exception. He came to the defense of his teammate and dropped the gloves with Brickley.
The fisticuffs proved brief. Seconds into the scrap, Seeler caught Brickley with a hard left. Brickley's helmet dislodged, and the 24-year-old instantly dropped to the ice, unmoving.
Within moments, players from both teams and referees were signalling for medical assistance. Brickley left the ice on a stretcher, but according to the Checkers' Twitter account, Brickley was "responsive and moving upon arrival" at a local hospital.
Seeler leads the Wild with 46 penalty minutes, and so far, has yet to register a single goal or assist.
- What happened to the University of Minnesota hockey program?
- Game Misconduct: The Biggest Threat to The State of Hockey May Be Itself
- The Assault on the State of Hockey: How Minnesota's Amateur Game is Turning Ugly
- The most dangerous sport for concussions? Girls' hockey
- Angry hockey dad yells insult while holding infant, tells another parent he'll cave his face in [VIDEO]
- Youth Hockey Hub Web Site Prospects Minnesota Kids Playing in Squirts and Pee Wees