Germany may not be the first country that comes to mind when you think of ice hockey, but it has produced some notable NHL talents over the years.
In this article, we’ll dive into the world of German NHL players, including their journeys, achievements, and contributions to the sport.
Table of Contents
NHL Players From Germany
|Detroid Red Wings
|San Jose Sharks
|San Jose Sharks
|St. Louis Blues
Leon Draisaitl: Edmonton Oilers’ Powerhouse
Leon Draisaitl, the center player and alternate captain for the Edmonton Oilers, is undoubtedly one of Germany’s finest exports to the NHL. His journey began with the Jungadler Mannheim U18 in the German Development League before being drafted by the Oilers in 2014. Draisaitl made history as the highest-drafted German player at that time.
In 2020, Draisaitl’s exceptional performance earned him the Art Ross Trophy and the Hart Memorial Trophy, making him the first German to achieve such honors. He also secured the Ted Lindsay Award and became the second-youngest player in his team’s history to score a hat-trick in the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2017. It’s worth noting that hockey runs in his family, with his father, Peter Draisaitl, being a former national player for Germany.
Tim Stutzle: Ottawa Senators’ Rising Star
Tim Stutzle, a center for the Ottawa Senators, is one of the NHL’s youngest talents. His passion for ice hockey started early, playing for the Krefelder Penguins in his teens. Stutzle’s outstanding performance in the 2017-18 season, with 18 goals and 29 assists, caught the attention of the Canadian Hockey League, leading to his selection by the Ottawa Senators in the 2020 NHL Draft.
At just 21 years old, Stutzle has already made a significant impact in the league, with 73 goals and 104 assists over three seasons. He also represented his homeland in the 2020 World Junior Championship.
Moritz Seider: Detroit Red Wings’ Defensive Force
Moritz Seider is making waves as the defenseman for the Detroit Red Wings. His journey began at the age of 15 when he started playing in the junior league in Germany. After playing for Jungadler Mannheim, he joined Adler Mannheim in 2018.
Seider’s skills were recognized when he led his team to victory in the 2019 World Junior Championship Division IA tournament and was named the best defenseman in 2021. In his NHL career, he has scored 12 goals for the Red Wings and provided 80 assists.
John Peterka: Buffalo Sabres’ Young Gun
John Peterka, also known as JJ Peterka, is a rising star in the Buffalo Sabres. Standing at 5 feet 11 inches, Peterka made his professional debut in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) in 2019. Before that, he honed his skills in the junior league with RB Hockey Academy.
Peterka’s talents didn’t go unnoticed, as the Buffalo Sabres selected him in the second round of the 2020 NHL Draft. He quickly made his mark, earning a spot on the All-Rookie Team in 2022. His first goal for the Sabres came in the 2022-2023 season, contributing to the team’s victory against the Ottawa Senators.
Nico Sturm: From Colorado to San Jose
Nico Sturm, a forward athlete for the San Jose Sharks, previously played for the Colorado Avalanche. His career took a significant turn when he won the Stanley Cup with the Avalanche in 2022. The team acquired him after a trade with the Minnesota Wild in March 2022.
Sturm’s professional journey began as an undrafted free agent for the Minnesota Wild in 2019-2020. He made his mark with his first goal in the league, and in July 2022, he signed a three-year contract with the San Jose Sharks. Off the ice, Sturm found love with ice hockey player Taylor Turnquist during their freshman year at Clarkson University.
Marco Sturm: From Player to Mentor
Marco Sturm is not just an NHL player but also a mentor. Currently serving as the head mentor of the Ontario Reign, Sturm’s NHL career began in 1997 when he signed with the San Jose Sharks. He made an immediate impact, scoring his first NHL goal against the Chicago Blackhawks in October 1997.
Sturm’s journey had its challenges, including a knee injury that required surgery. However, he persevered and returned to the ice in the 2009-2010 season. After retiring as a player in 2014, he transitioned into coaching, eventually leading the national team of his native Germany in 2015.
Philipp Grubauer: Seattle Kraken’s Guardian
Philipp Grubauer, hailing from Rosenheim, is a goaltender for the Seattle Kraken. His journey began with the German National team in the mid-2000s, followed by his selection by the Washington Capitals in the 2010 NHL Draft.
Grubauer achieved a historic milestone as the first goalie from Germany to win the Stanley Cup playoffs with the Washington Capitals in 2018. He later joined the Colorado Avalanche and, in 2021, became a key player for the Seattle Kraken.
Thomas Greiss: St. Louis Blues’ Goalkeeper
Thomas Greiss, the goaltender for the St. Louis Blues since July 2022, previously played for the Detroit Red Wings. Greiss’s career started in 2004 in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL). He then ventured into the American Hockey League with the Worcester Sharks in 2007.
Greiss’s NHL journey included stints with several teams, including the Phoenix Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Islanders, and the Detroit Red Wings. In 2022-2023, he signed a one-year contract with the St. Louis Blues. Off the ice, Greiss is married to Miss South Dakota USA 2014, Brittney, and they have a daughter together.
Dennis Seidenberg: A Defensive Force
Dennis Seidenberg, a former defenseman in the NHL, has left a lasting impact on the league. He played for teams like the Philadelphia Flyers, Phoenix Coyotes, Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, Boston Bruins, New York Islanders, and others.
Seidenberg’s hockey journey began in the late 1990s, with highlights including participating in Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournaments. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2001 and later traded to the Phoenix Coyotes. His career included a Stanley Cup win with the Boston Bruins in 2011. After his stint with the New York Islanders in 2016, Seidenberg announced his retirement in October 2019.
Tobias Rieder: The NHL Journeyman
Our list concludes with Tobias Rieder, who debuted in the NHL during the 2014-2015 season. Originally picked by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2011 Entry Draft, Rieder made his debut with the Arizona Coyotes. Prior to that, he played in the junior league with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League.
Rieder’s NHL journey included playing for the Los Angeles Kings, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, and Buffalo Sabres. He later joined the Vaxjo Lakers in the Swedish Hockey League for the 2021-2022 season. Throughout his career, the Coyotes remained a significant part of his journey, and he also represented his country in the 2022 Winter Olympics.
In conclusion, these German NHL players have not only carved out successful careers in the league but have also contributed to the global appeal of ice hockey. Their journeys, accomplishments, and dedication to the sport continue to inspire future generations of hockey players in Germany and beyond.