Featured Player: Kelly Seeler
Oct. 26, 2011
Kelly Seeler is part of a very athletic family. The Gophers defenseman is one of three children and both her siblings play sports at a high level like her. Her sister, Ashley, played soccer for the Gophers and her younger brother, Nick, is also a defenseman in hockey who was drafted by the Minnesota Wild this past draft and will soon begin his college career. Now, with the Gophers women’s hockey team, Kelly has made a name for herself amongst her talented family.
A graduate of Eden Prairie, Kelly Seeler excelled in two sports in high school.
In addition to being a leader for the hockey program, she was a standout in lacrosse. She is in rare company as a winner of five state championships, two in hockey and three in lacrosse. Kelly has reached the top of the mountain for a high school athlete and winning a state championship is something she is very proud of, “It is unbelievable, one of those things you will never forget. It is a dream I had as I was growing up, it is equivalent to the NCAA’s in the sense that in high school that is what you are working towards. It is an amazing feeling and achievement.” After leaving her mark on very successful programs with the Eagles, Kelly stepped into a program with similar expectations and success when she joined the Gophers.
For Seeler, it is a dream come true to dawn the maroon and gold, “I have always wanted to play for Minnesota.” Kelly has the added opportunity of getting to play college hockey close to home. “I like to go home and get a home cooked meal and see my family whenever I want. It is an honor to play for a program like Minnesota, I grew up wanting to play them, so to be able to do that and be close to my family is awesome.”
Kelly is a member of one of the greatest classes in Gopher history. Seeler says being part of the senior class has provided numerous thrills. “It is unbelievable to be a part of it, our senior class is one of the strongest. There are so many personalities and elements that each person brings to the table. We are all so talented and to be a part of that for the past four years has been really fun.” Kelly is one of the more unheralded players of the group, but her consistent play in every area of the ice has been vital to the class’ success.
Kelly has been an integral part of the Gophers’ defense ever since she stepped on campus. Seeler has put up tremendous plus/minus numbers in her career, starting with a stellar +37 as a freshman. She was quick to give credit to her teammates for her prowess in this stat saying, “The whole team plays a part in it. I can’t really take the credit for that stat because there are other players on the ice they are helping me step up and make the plays.” Last season, Seeler posted a +27, which was second on the team.
So, what does Kelly think is the best part of her game, “My grittiness, I like it. I like that tough aspect of hockey and I think that there are a lot of girls who have the capability to have grit, but they don’t necessarily show it. I like the heart and the will that goes in to getting the puck and winning the battle.” There us little doubt that Kelly’s grit and willingness to do what ever it takes at both ends of the ice has earn the respect of her teammates.
In a matchup versus St. Cloud State earlier this season, Seeler recorded her 50th career point with an assist on an Amanda Kessel goal. As a defenseman, 50 career points is quite an achievement, “It is a high honor in my book.” Seeler noted. Kelly has quietly jumped to 12th all-time in career points among Gopher defenseman. Her steady play has helped the Gophers win lots of games in her four years in the maroon and gold. Kelly had experienced a lot of winning in the game of hockey and she and the rest of the team are hoping there winning to come.
By Josh Brennock