Seguin on Dale & Holley: ‘No idea’ where I would be drafted
|06.29.10 at 6:06 pm ET|
Tyler Seguin, the recent No. 2 overall draft pick by the Boston Bruins, joined Dale & Holley on Tuesday afternoon to talk about his relationship with Taylor Hall, how he’s improved his game, and what position he prefers to play.
‘My improvement level has always been really good,’ Seguin said. ‘I just think it’s the little things, the sacrifices off the ice, the commitment that you need to go to the next level. I’ve had my family and supporting cast to teach me along the way and I think I’ve just been maturing as a player and a person off the ice and I really just want to stay as consistent here as I can throughout.’
Seguin also spoke about his idol growing up and comparisons in his game to Steve Yzerman.
Below is the transcript of the interview. Visit the Dale & Holley audio on demand page to hear the interview.
Did you know on draft night that you were going to be the No. 2 pick?
No, I had absolutely no idea. It was definitely a very exciting day for my family and I, and we kind of took it all in. It was phenomenal being there in Los Angeles and the hospitality they gave us. I had no idea where I was going but I was very excited when it was announced.
What’s your relationship like with Taylor Hall?
Well I met him a couple times just through the events at the draft here. Whether it was the top prospect game or the world junior camp, stuff like that. At the end of the year, we kind of got together to go to Philadelphia for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup playoffs and I guess we bonded a bit more. At the draft we had a lot of events together as well. In the end, we were rivals and I guess we had more of a healthy competition on the ice. That’s as far as it’s gone, and now that it’s all said and done, I doubt we’re going to keep contact.
Who from the Boston Bruins organization did you get to know best and spend the most time with?
Through it all, I kind of spent the same amount of time with everyone. We had different dinners and stuff like that. They came to my house, the managers and presidents, and I got to know their equipment guy pretty well as well. When I came down here, I met Tuukka [Rask] the goalie and now I just met [Nathan] Horton, so I think it’s pretty even throughout.
What kind of questions did the Bruins ask you and what really stood out to you in the interviews?
Well mainly most of the interviews were just getting to know each other, figuring out what my personality is. They asked me about my lifestyle, some of my habits, even my work ethic off the ice. At the combine, it was more tricky questions and I guess the questions were just at a faster pace that it was hard to keep up and you just wanted to do your best and show your personality.
What did you do in the offseason to make yourself better?
Really it was to that point in my rookie year when I realized this dream I’ve had as a little kid for the NHL can now be a goal, so I wanted to mature as a player and work on the little things and get more confidence to accomplish that goal. When the summer came, I actually did goalie camps to work on my shooting abilities and I just worked out pretty hard. I also had the under 18 team Canada thing there where we won a gold medal. So no offense to USA fans out there but that was a great experience.
Did not making the entry for Canada for the world junior hockey championships fuel you?
It was probably the biggest adversity I’ve ever had to face so far in my hockey career. I went in there, I worked hard, I think I just thought about the little things too much. It was still early in the year where the spotlight was thrown on me so I still wasn’t used to it and maybe 100 percent comfortable. But it was a great learning experience, it definitely fueled me for the two great months after that, and it was just a moment where I hadn’t matured as a player and a person, and I’ve never looked back since.
What did you do to move up the rankings from the No. 10 prospect to the No. 1 prospect?
My improvement level has always been really good. I just think it’s the little things, the sacrifices off the ice, the commitment that you need to go to the next level. I’ve had my family and supporting cast to teach me along the way and I think I’ve just been maturing as a player and a person off the ice and I really just want to stay as consistent here as I can throughout.
Do you have a preference on your position?
Well my rookie year in the OHL I was 16 coming into the league with 20-year-olds, so my top line had a 19-year-old and a 20-year-old so I had to get thrown on as a winger and I had to adjust there. It turned out that I really like the position and this past year I played center and matured as a player again, just getting better in my own zone. Hopefully I can earn my spot and if I do I’m really comfortable playing either wing or center.
If you attach yourself to the hip with Mark Recchi for the season, you could do a lot worse for yourself.
I met him at the draft here down in L.A. so it was a great experience just meeting him, he seems like a good guy and I’m sure more of the relationship is to come.
Tell us the story about the tattoo on your biceps.
Growing up, my dad always said, ‘Wear your heart on your sleeve.’ We decided, “Hey why not put the last name on the back of our arm, kind of like the sleeve?” Since then I got mine done when I was I believe 17 and my dad just recently got his done, so we’re going to try to make it a little family thing to carry out.
What do you expect is going to be your biggest adjustment when you get to the NHL?
Obviously, the next level is going to be much bigger and much faster, so I’m trying to work on getting that extra second and a bit quicker on all areas of the ice. I think my expectation right now is just to hopefully get an opportunity with this club and try to earn a spot on this team.
Is it possible that you’re actually going to find it a bit easier than Taylor Hall?
Yeah, who really knows? I have my expectations for myself and I really haven’t heard expectations from others of what they want out of me. I’m pretty happy coming to an organization that’s already a Stanley Cup contender and that’s pretty cool and I would take that over a rebuilding team any day.
What kind of research did you do on your own going back and forth between Edmonton and Boston?
The research went as far as the players and the organization. Both clubs have a pretty good history. Obviously Boston is part of the original six, I mean you can’t go wrong there. They have a great organization and great environment here, it’s a beautiful city but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I want to make the team before I think about apartments or cars or anything like that.
What player did you grow up emulating or admiring?
I didn’t get to watch him too much but Steve Yzerman. He started off as a rookie and matured as a player and got more responsible in his own zone and then he became a hockey legend. Just the way he conducted himself both on and off the ice made him my idol when I was growing up.
One story I read compared your playing style to Yzerman’s. Do you see that connection at all?
I thought it was actually funny that this guy is my idol and now they’re trying to compare me for where I could be one day. Those are some pretty big shoes to live up to. Obviously when I play center, I try to be like him so we’ll see what happens.
No. 9 in this town is retired for Johnny Bucyk. Were you OK with No. 19?
Yeah, I was OK. I’ve always worn nine my whole life, whether it was just nine or 97 or 92 or whatever it may be. I’ve always like the number 19 and now that it’s free I said ‘sure, why not?’