|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
|Might Bruins prefer Seguin?||05.28.10 at 6:00 pm ET|
With the NHL Combine all wrapped up in Toronto, it remains unclear whether the Oilers will select Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin with the first overall choice on June 25. Speaking to reporters, however, it appears the Bruins and GM Peter Chiarelli may have a slight preference on one of the players. Check this out from a story posted this afternoon on NHL.com.
“I’m really happy and thankful that we’re going to get one of those two,” Chiarelli said. “They’re terrific kids and good players in their own way. We’re really close. It may change in the coming three days when we have our amateur meetings. When you get to this point, maybe that’s when you switch over to need. I’m not saying we’re going to do that.”
The “maybe that’s when you switch over to need part” — if we want to read into that, that is — would suggest the Bruins could be prefer Seguin, who absolutely crushed the Combine despite vomiting in the VO2 test. If the team were picking for need one would think they would take the natural winger in Hall, though Chiarelli noted that Seguin, who has played plenty of wing, is fully capable of being the goal-scorer they need. He also added that Hall could play center if need be.
“Both kids said they would play any position,” Chiarelli told NHL.com. “I’ve seen Tyler play the wing. A lot has been written and said that it’s a more natural fit for Taylor to come to us because he’s a wing and Tyler to go to Edmonton because he’s a center. Half the time I’ve seen Tyler, he’s been on wing. He can play wing and frankly, it might be a way to enter him into the NHL, on the wing. Taylor told us that he’s played center and loves playing center. That shouldn’t be a distinguishing factor.”
The Bruins met with Seguin and his family on Tuesday and will do the same with Hall and his family in the coming weeks.
|Here’s why Taylor Hall isn’t working out||at 1:32 pm ET|
Today’s news that Taylor Hall will not work out at the NHL Combine due to minor back and knee injuries may raise some questions. Warren Rychel, former NHL left wing and current GM of the Windsor Spitfires, told me today that the injuries were sustained on this frightening hit Hall took from Travis Hamonic in the Memorial Cup playoffs.
|Seguin, coach talk with WEEI.com||at 10:04 am ET|
– Seguin underwent a bit of a transformation in 2009-2010. After being selfless almost to a fault as a playmaker in his first junior hockey season, he began shooting the puck more, resulting in 48 goals, which led the Ontario Hockey league. He had four more goals than Taylor Hall.
– Vellucci feels the comparisons that are made between Seguin and Steve Yzerman are just, though he feels Seguin is a slightly stronger skater. He also compares the 18-year-old to Joe Sakic citing both talent and makeup.
– Seguin has no preference between Edmonton and Boston. He is intrigued by the idea of jumping into the NHL and immediately contending for a cup with the Bruins, though he hopes to have a chance to prove himself on the center-heavy Bruins.
For the complete story, CLICK HERE.
|The voices up north have spoken …||05.27.10 at 3:55 pm ET|
That’s not a religious reference, but an indication that media outlets/fans/bloggers in Canada have been dishing opinion after opinion on the Taylor Hall/Tyler Seguin debate. The overarching expectation with less than a month to go until the draft appears to be that the Edmonton Oilers should take Hall first overall.
This Stephen Knight story in the Vancouver Sun touches on how Hall jumped ahead of the top-ranked Seguin with his outstanding Memorial Cup play. Knight writes:
“Although it’s not Canadian to admit that you wanted to show how wrong the Central Scouting Bureau was, you have to think there’s a little bit of Hall that was looking up to the scouts’ box and saying, ‘What else would you like? Is this good enough?'”
Hall’s popularity among Oilers fans skyrocketed during the tournament, during which one poster on the team’s discussion board wrote, “I truly believe that Seguin not playing in the Memorial Cup is hurting his chances for going #1 in the draft even though there is nothing he could have done about it.” Another wrote that, “if the Oilers pass up on Hall, I’m done as a fan.”
One interesting thread gaining momentum is one about what the Oilers could demand from the Bruins in a trade for the first overall pick. Some fans feel GM Steve Tambellini could ask for the second overall pick, the 15th overall pick, and top center prospect Joe Colborne. It might not get more far-fetched than that.
|More to Bruins’ future than No. 2||at 9:50 am ET|
The NHL draft isn’t exactly like that of the NFL and NBA, in which players selected anywhere early on step in right away, so while either Tyler Seguin or Taylor Hall will contribute to the Bruins immediately, one shouldn’t expect such an early impact from the team’s ensuing picks.
It does mean, however, that in what is believed to be a fairly deep draft, GM Peter Chiarelli needs to make his other high picks — and he has a lot of quality good ones ‘ count long-term.
Not only do the Bruins have their own first-rounder, which is 15th overall (the NHL only changes the order for Conference finalists), but they’ve also got a high second-round pick from the Maple Leafs (Phil Kessel trade) in addition to their own (that extra second they picked up from the Lightning in the Mark Recchi deal was sent to the Panthers in their package for Dennis Seidenberg).
There are two ways of looking at the early picks the Bruins have. The first is that they have all the ammunition they could need to move up to No. 1 and then some, which is certainly a topic that will be visited as Hall becomes more popular with each passing day. The second is that this can be the draft class that defines Chiarelli more than anything since perhaps the 2006 free agent class.
Should there be a particular strategy? Generally in hockey it’s hard to say, since it could be a few years before anyone hears their team’s first-rounder’s name again. Since there isn’t another goal-scorer with Hall’s talents, going for a highlight-reel winger halfway through the first round will be tough, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get an impact winger. There are plenty of good centers in the middle of the first round (Nick Bjugstad, Mikael Granlund, Jaden Schwartz, Jeffrey Skinner), but unless it’s Seguin, adding to that crowded depth chart (remember Joe Colborne still needs to make his grand entrance at some point), would be confusing.
If they want to go for a wing, Tyler Toffoli is a guy worth looking into. Like many offensive prospects in each draft, he played some center in junior hockey but projects to play right wing in the NHL. Toffoli is rated as the 18th-best draft prospect by HockeyProspect.com. The 6-foot-0, 181-pounder scored 37 goals in 65 games last season for the Ottawa 67’s (OHL). Watch the 18-year-old’s goal from October as he loses his balance.
If defense is the pick, Bruins fans wanting to stay ahead of the curve should familiarize themselves with Duluth, Minn. defenseman Derek Forbort, who brings good size and strength. HockeyProspect.com ranks the 18-year-old as the 16th-best prospect in this year’s draft.
The 6-foot-4, 200-pounds Forbort will play college puck at North Dakota. Here is his scouting report from MyNHLDraft.com:
‘Forbort takes advantage of his physical tools often using his long reach to take passing lanes way from opponents. Forbort plays hard nosed hockey in the corners and uses his strength to move opponents away from the slot area. Forbort is great at transitioning from offense to defense, using his speed and positioning to force players to the outside.
Forbort is very patient with the puck and anticipates the game well, he has a good shot which he keeps low allowing rebounds for his teammates.“