|Spezza could doom Bruins in draft||06.08.10 at 3:20 pm ET|
With just over two weeks to go until the NHL Draft, it has become a logical line of thinking to believe the Bruins would be quite risky to assume Windsor Spitfires left wing Taylor Hall will be available with the second overall pick. While either Hall or Plymouth Whalers center Tyler Seguin would be a blessing to the offense, there is no doubt that the Bruins could use a well-rounded winger more than they could use a center. The Edmonton Oilers, who hold the top pick in the draft, have needs all over the ice and will ultimately do what what they feel upgrades their team the most.
Here’s where the irony hits: This draft features the best offensive 1-2 punch since 2001, a class that starred left wing Ilya Kovalchuk and center Jason Spezza. Kovalchuk went first to the Atlanta Thrashers, Spezza went second to the Senators and each embarked upon their careers as NHL All-Stars. If the parallels aren’t apparent yet, recent chatter suggests it could be one of the ’01 stars that messes things up for the Bruins this month.
Spezza, whose contract will see a no-trade clause kick in on July 1, has reportedly grown frustrated with the Ottawa and may want out. While talk that he may have requested a trade could be nothing more than speculation, many have begun guessing where the center could call home next season. Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal, who Bruins fans should have bookmarked by now for a Hall of Fame Edmonton writer’s take on this draft, sees a potential gameplan for the Oiler’s offseason that “might solve the Taylor vs. Tyler debate.”
“Draft winger Taylor Hall on June 25 with their No. 1 pick at the NHL entry draft, pass on centre Tyler Seguin and trade for Spezza later.
The Senators would almost assuredly take the same three players that were on the table for winger Dany Heatley last summer — Dustin Penner, Andrew Cogliano and Ladislav Smid — in exchange for Spezza, who would become the Oilers’ much-needed first-line centre.”
There you have it. Both teams could afford to due that trade, as Matheson stacks the cap numbers against one another and calls the deal a “virtual wash.” The Oilers would see offensive improvement and have a top line that would be among the best in the NHL, while the Bruins would be improved with Seguin, but would enter the 2010-2011 season without a 30-plus-goal-scoring winger — again.
So what should the Bruins do? If Oilers GM Steve Tambellini targets Spezza, an offer of Blake Wheeler and the second pick isn’t exactly going to change his mind. In fact, if Edmonton can get both Spezza and Hall, the Oilers might even prefer that combo to a deal that included the second and 15th overall picks, which the Bruins likely wouldn’t want to do anyway.
The Bruins may have their hands tied. There is no logic in a wing-deprived team trading a wing or a top pick to move up one spot and one can’t assume the Oilers would even be interested in what the Bruins have to say. SensChirp is reporting the Bruins have interest in Spezza themselves and that the second pick “could be in play” but I would take that with an entire mound of salt. The reality is the team may just have to do two things: Hope Spezza is dealt elsewhere so the Oilers have a bigger shot of taking Seguin and convince themselves that potentially landing the Plymouth center is better than giving up a king’s ransom to secure Hall. For now, all anyone else can do is wait.
|Chiarelli maintains Segiun and Hall are neck-and-neck||06.04.10 at 3:38 pm ET|
What you’re about to read may come as earth-shattering news, so you might want to sit down as you read this: The Boston Bruins like both Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin a lot and claim to not prefer one by a large margin. Deep breaths.
“I’ve been quoted as saying they’re really close and I’ll contnue to say that because that’s what they are for us,” Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Friday in a conference call with the media. “They were both very good interviews up in Toronto [at the NHL Scouting Combine] and I had a good meeting with the Seguins in Brampton and I certainly would anticipate the same with the Halls in Kingston.”
Chiarelli is planning to visit Hall’s parents in the next two weeks, but a source told WEEI.com this week that Hall will be with the Bruins this weekend meeting with Chiarelli and other front office members. Seguin will also visit Boston, a place he spoke highly of recently with WEEI.com, though it is unknown when he will make the trip.
The Bruins, who also choose 15th overall and have two selections in the second round, have been putting in more work than simply getting caught up in the Taylor/Tyler craze. There are plenty of players, whether they be Hall’s Windsor teammates in defenseman Cam Fowler and forward Austin Watson or whomever, who could fill serious needs with Boston.
“The fact that we have four picks in the first round and a half, you know, we always pay attention to these things but you’ve really got to focus in on your target guys and the guys that you want and where they should be slotted,” Chiarelli said.
“This is a deep draft, and I know you may hear that on a yearly basis but I’m more in touch with it this year because we have so many high picks. We’ll continue to bring some kids in and we’ll probably finish doing that halfway through next week.”
As for the Big Bad Board (had to make it less football-sounding somehow), are the Bruins set in stone on who they want with the second, or even 15th or 32nd picks for that matter? In a word, no.
“You tweak a little bit,” Chiarelli said. “You put the list up, you generate the list and then you reserve the right to change it based on testing interviews and then your smaller group gets together and you talk about the issues on certain players. It’s not firm until the morning of.”
|NHL execs say Hall goes No. 1||06.03.10 at 2:31 pm ET|
To those who voted overwhelmingly in favor of Taylor Hall in our recent poll regarding which OHL star would be best for the Bruins, NHL.com has bad news for you. Adam Kimelman asked personnel executives from both an Eastern Conference team and a Western Conference team and both said that the Windsor left wing will be selected first overall by the Oilers, with Plymouth center Tyler Seguin falling to the Bruins at pick No. 2.
“Our scout from the East said Hall in Edmonton would evoke memories of the 1980s dynasty teams, while our scout in the West said Hall was just too good to pass on.
With Hall going first, both pegged Seguin going No. 2 to Boston. Our Western scout said Seguin would make Bruins fans forget all about Phil Kessel, who the club had to sacrifice to get this pick from the Toronto Maple Leafs.”
What is just as interesting for fans looking at the draft as more than the first two picks is the fact that both executives have Hall’s teammate, offensive defenseman Cam Fowler going third overall. With the Bruins talking trade with teams, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that they could be considering moving up with the 15th overall pick in order to get potentially their best scoring defenseman since Sergei Gonchar.
NHL Central Scouting ranks Fowler as the fifth best prospect in this draft class, but more projections see him as the third overall pick to the Panthers with each passing day. Fowler had 55 points in in 2009-2010, his first season with the Spitfires.
|Source: Taylor Hall coming to Boston… for visit||06.02.10 at 6:53 pm ET|
A source has told WEEI.com that Windsor Spitfires left wing Taylor Hall will be in Boston this weekend visiting with the Bruins front office. A group of prospects will be making the trip, though Hall, who tied for the OHL with 106 points and won his second consecutive Memorial Cup MVP last month, will certainly be the most interesting of the bunch for the team.
|Report: Chiarelli discussing No. 2 pick with teams||at 6:00 pm ET|
According to a very brief report by Darren Dreger of TSN.ca, Bruins general manager has fielded phone calls regarding the second overall pick in this month’s NHL Draft.
“Chiarelli says that over the past couple of days, teams have inquired about his interest in trading the second overall pick in this month’s NHL draft,” Dreger writes, adding that Chiarelli also said he and the Oilers have and will continue to discuss a deal that would involve a swap of the top two picks in the draft.
The idea of the Bruins talking with the Oilers isn’t exactly news, though the notion of the team moving down from the second slot is certainly interesting. The team already has the 15th and 32nd overall selections in addition to the Maple Leafs’ first-rounder next year, so common logic would suggest the Bruins should stay put and land Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin rather than stockpiling more premium picks.
Teams discuss picks and players all the time — it’s simply part of due diligence — so the recommendation here is to not get carried away with the report. All things equal, it would be surprising if a GM with Chiarelli’s intelligence moved away from an opportunity at Hall or Seguin without outrageous return (think Lindros deal).
|HOF writer says there’s no Hall in ’11 draft||06.01.10 at 2:06 pm ET|
Much like people seem to forget about the fact that the Bruins are also picking 15th overall in this month’s NHL draft, it seems to go unnoticed that seeing the Bruins picking this high isn’t a one-time thing. After all, the deal that sent the Bruins first and second-round picks from Toronto (second and 32nd overall, respectively) also landed Boston the Leafs’ top choice next year, which figures to be high given that the Northeast division rival Maple Leafs have been slotted in the top seven picks the last three years.
With the reminder that the Bruins might once again have the opportunity to land a star this time next year, it’s only natural that in the impossible debate between Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall, one can find solace in thinking that whichever talent they don’t land, whether it be the center or the left wing, they can find next year. In a mailbag with readers, however, Hall of Fame Oilers writer Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal says that while there are elite centers to help ease the pain for whoever misses out on Seguin, they won’t find a wing with Hall’s capabilities next year.
Considering the Oilers might also pick high again next year, a fan asked Matheson if the hometown team could take Seguin and get a star winger in the 2011 draft. His response? “Short answer — no.”
Matheson names defenseman Adam Larsson (Sweden), centers Sean Couturier (QMJHL) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (CHL), and defenseman David Musil (WHL) as the top prospects in next year’s draft. Should that change the way the Oilers and Bruins think when deciding who their man is this year? Likely not, as they shouldn’t bank on getting such a high pick next year, but it’s definitely something to chew on.
|VOTE: Tyler or Taylor?||at 12:06 am ET|
You’ve heard plenty about top NHL Draft prospects Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall. With similar frames (both 6-foot-1, 185 pounds) and stats, everybody from Edmonton to Boston seems torn on which one will end up in black and gold via the second overall pick. Now that we’ve reached the month of the draft, it’s time to gauge the wishes of the fans. Who do you want for the Bruins?
The skinny: In two seasons the center went from an underutilized fourth-line talent to the No. 1 player in the draft according to NHL Central Scouting. Led the OHL with 48 goals in ’09-’10 and tied Hall for the lead with 106 points.
The comparison: Steve Yzerman/Joe Sakic
The skinny: The flashy left winger came into the OHL as a 15-year old and scored 45 goals as a rookie. Since then he’s won back-to-back Memorial Cup MVPs.
The story: Rychel likes Hall’s toughness
The comparison: Pavel Bure