Patrick Sieloff Excited to be in San Diego On and Off the IceFeb 27, 2019
By Steve Brown
The newest face in the Gulls’ locker room has some prior connections to lean on as he makes his transition from the Ottawa Senators organization to Southern California.
Patrick Sieloff, acquired in a trade late Sunday night by the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Brian Gibbons, is excited to reacquaint himself in the Pacific Division and live in sunny San Diego. The trade was made official at 9:25 p.m. in Southern California, but Sieloff was in Belleville, Ontario where it was nearly midnight when he got the call.
“I was getting ready for bed around 11:30 p.m. and sure enough they called me and said I had been to Anaheim,” said the 6-1, 205-pound defenseman. “You don’t get much sleep that night. I immediately started packing up my stuff until 3 a.m. and I drove about six-and-a half hours back home.”
After the drive to his hometown of Ann Arbor, he flew to San Diego Tuesday morning. His first day wasn’t on the ice, it was joining all of his teammates at a local bowling alley for a night out with more than 125 fans that he said was an incredible turnout and great to see on a week night. Not a bad transition into his new surroundings. It was Wednesday that he’d get acquainted with the hockey side of the business, a 9 a.m. meeting with the coaching staff followed by an up-tempo 50-minute practice at THE RINKS – Poway ICE.
“It’s been awesome so far. When I heard that I was coming out here, I couldn’t have been more happy,” said Sieloff, who picked up nine points in 45 games for the Belleville this season. “I know four-to-five guys on the team and they’ve helped me adapt tremendously. Just reaching out them on what to expect, how things run out here and just ease my way into it is a lot easier than just jumping into the fire.”
Joining a new team is never easy, but it certainly helps Sieloff having been close with fellow defenseman Trevor Murphy from their time in the OHL with the Windsor Spitfires. He also played with Ben Street in Stockton during the 2015-16 season, has trained with Corey Tropp in their native Michigan during the offseason and has battled against Adam Cracknell, Ben Thomson and Luke Gazdic in the Eastern Conference the past few seasons.
During his first practice he was paired with Murphy on a defensive pair that helps make the transition that much easier.
“It’s awesome. I’ve known Murph for a long time now and when we run into each other we pick it up from when we first played with one other in junior,” said Sieloff. “It’s nice that he’s on my right side out there. There’s a lot of communication, he can help me through the drills and it makes it a lot easier that’s for sure. He’s a great player.”
San Diego is a new home, but it’s not an unfamiliar place. Having played 52 games with Stockton four seasons ago he has faced the Gulls nine times while playing five of those contests at Pechanga Arena. Speaking highly of the city and the passionate fan base.
“It’s awesome. When I played for Stockton it was the first year in the AHL. Coming to San Diego, that was the trip you looked forward to, but not playing in the building because they pack the building,” he said with a big smile, while also reference the toughness of the team that iced former stalwarts Brian McGrattan and Stu Bickel. “They had a tough team. Now it’s good to be out here on the other side of it. This team’s been on a good run and I’m just happy to be a part of it and hopefully help the team out.”
With 406 penalty minutes to his name in 257 AHL games with Belleville, Binghamton, Stockton, Adirondack and Abbotsford, Sieloff can hold his own on the ice. But it’s not just the crease-clearing style that stood out to the Anaheim management in bringing the 24-year old into the fold. Sieloff was drafted by Calgary in the second round (42nd overall) in 2012 for a reason. He’s a versatile defensive defenseman that can make smart decisions with the puck, transition the puck up the ice and use his skating ability to strategically join in on the attack. But, as he said himself, he can mix it up.
“I like to pride myself in a great first pass, making the easy play and playing really hard against the other team. I like to get in guys’ faces,” said Sieloff when asked what fans can expect to see from him. “I’m pretty simple out there, but I like to join the rush when I can. I like to pride myself on my defensive game and have good breakouts, join the rush and make sure we don’t give up anything against on the PK.”
In addition to his time in the AHL, Sieloff has two in two career NHL games with Ottawa and Calgary. His first career goal came in his NHL debut with Calgary, which also finished as the game winner in a 2-1 victory on Apr. 9, 2016 at Minnesota. After being traded to Ottawa on July 11, he also scored in his first game with the Senators on Mar. 20, 2018 vs. Florida, becoming the first player in league history to score a goal in each of his first two career games while playing for different teams.
Like all players moving to American’s Finest City, they know the landscape of where San Diego ranks as an AHL city and one of the top beach communities the country has to offer. It’s not lost on many the support the fans bring every night as the word of mouth around the league continues to grow. That and the lifestyle away from the rink with the beach, warm weather and outdoor activities so readily available.
“The sun’s coming up every day here, you’re not walking out to 10-degrees with snow and ice. It just helps the body and the mind stay fresh. There’s so many options outside of the rink. There’s so many things to do. It’s endless what you can do. It’s going to be fun.”