Sieloff looking forward to playing in the OHL
CALGARY, AB -- This past April, Patrick Sieloff left the IIHF U18 World Junior Championships, gold medal in hand, with an extremely hard decision to make.
Committed to the University of Miami-Ohio, Sieloff was ruminating on the possibility of foregoing the NCAA and heading to the OHL with the Windsor Spitfires. His OHL rights had been dealt to the Spitfires last November from the Soo Greyhounds - a situation Sieloff dubbed "different but neat," - and suddenly, he had to the option of joining a high-octane club that has been a top-three team in the West Division for 10 of the past 12 years.
In the end, he and his family came to the conclusion the OHL offered the best development path for his career so Sieloff will be suiting up for the Spits this fall.
"Miami has great coaching staff and players, it's just that at Windsor, I feel like they know what they're doing and they're a winning organization," Sieloff said. "They put guys in the NHL in years past and they've been really successful in the last five years.
"I'm really looking forward to the opportunity."
Another aspect that played into Sieloff decision was the amount of ice time the OHL affords him.
"College only plays about 40 games and in OHL, you're playing around 60 - maybe 70 with playoffs. Basically, I feel like it's the best place for me. I'm going to be able to grow there."
Sieloff has spent the last two seasons with the U.S. National Development Team, playing a top-four role for the squad. He credits the program for his progression as a player and feels the training regimen he was put through with the team will be very beneficial when he makes the leap to the OHL.
"I feel like I've gotten a lot stronger and mature. I put on about 30 pounds while I was there.
"Instead of being 175 lbs., now I'm 200 lbs. and that will help with the games and the schedule that we play."
Hailing from Ann Arbor, MI, Sieloff grew up watching the Detroit Red Wings. He models his game after the likes of Niklas Kronwall and Brad Stuart, heavy hitters who can change the momentum of a game with their physical brand of play.
He applies that take-no-prisoners style of game in both games and practices, always capitalizing on an opportunity to level someone with a check. During drills in development camp, his fellow prospects learned they had to keep their head on a swivel every time he stepped on the ice.
"I'm trying to make them better," the blueliner said of his intensity during practices. "And if I'm not playing like that, I'm not playing at my best."
The rearguard has a busy summer ahead of him. Sieloff will attend the Minnesota Hockey Camp, a program he tries to attend at least once a year. He has also been invited to USA Hockey's National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, NY this August in hopes of securing a spot on Team USA's roster for the U20 World Junior Championships.
"It's going to be fun," Sieloff smiled. "I want to use my time this summer to get ready for the upcoming season and be 100 per cent prepared for the fall."