|Kessel deal coming full-circle as Leafs miss out on local star||06.25.10 at 9:53 pm ET|
There were a lot of things about the first round of Friday night’s NHL draft that seemed a little funny. Both league-wide and specifically to the Bruins, the first 30 picks were laced with irony and confusion. Some blatant examples: Two perceived top defenseman fell out of the top 10. The team that needed centers took winger Taylor Hall, which led to the team with too many centers taking Tyler Seguin.
A few storylines stand out with the Bruins’ new center, one of which is that he was the top-ranked player in the draft by NHL Central Scouting, yet went second. Just as fascinating, however, is the team he went to, and with which pick.
Every young hockey player’s dream is to play in the NHL, and with his selection Friday night Seguin will undoubtedly realize his lifelong goal. However, the path to Boston, a city he spoke about with excitement Friday night, ultimately went through the team he grew up admiring as a child.
Born in Brampton, Ontario, Seguin was close enough to Toronto to be a Maple Leafs fan. In addition to being an Original Six rival of the Black and Gold, the Maple Leafs were a trade partner in the move that would eventually bring Seguin to Boston. The Bruins acquired three picks from the Leafs last offseason in the Phil Kessel deal, including the first-rounder that became the pick used on the Plymouth Whalers center.
“Growing up I was the local guy,” Seguin said. “I liked watching the Leafs because they were the local team. Now that it happened, I think it’s meant to be. I think things worked out throughout my life and anyone’s lives. It’s just where we were supposed to fall, and Boston was the team that was supposed to pick me.”
What makes it so interesting is the story the pick could have been if it stayed in Toronto. The hometown kid who grew up cheering on the Leafs goes to the historic franchise to give them a shot of both youth and scoring. Instead, he’s gone to the rival, a Bruins team that has seemed to be knocking at the door for two seasons now.
So does the team that will also see their second-rounder Saturday and first-round pick next year made by the Bruins regret the deal?
“We made this trade,” Leafs GM Brian Burke said at the draft. “We took our chance on how our team would finish. We talked about the possibility that it could be a lottery pick. … We said, ‘Well what if it is Taylor Hall? What if it is Tyler Seguin?’ and we said ‘We’re going to make that trade anyway.’ We got the player we wanted and I hope Boston got the player they wanted.”
|Seguin: Boston ‘is a hockey town’||at 8:37 pm ET|
Minutes after being selected by the Bruins with the second pick in the NHL draft Seguin soaked in the moment and acknowledged his goal is to make the team this season.
‘It feels amazing, I can’t really describe it,’ said Sequin, a native of Brampton, Ontario who netted 48 goals while adding 58 assists playing junior hockey for the Plymouth Whalers last season. ‘It’s not winning the Stanley Cup but its one of the best feelings I’ve had so far in my life.’
With the highly anticipated draft process complete and his future team set, Seguin is ready to concentrate fully on his training regime.
‘It definitely feels great just to be able to sit back and look down at my (Bruins) jersey’ said Seguin. ‘I’ll try to have a fantastic off season so I’ll be able to earn a spot next year.
‘The whole journey and this last week in LA has been a phenomenal experience,’ he added. ‘Right now my main focus is to have an incredible offseason, put on some weight and keep improving in areas I need to.’
Although he is generally considered a center, Seguin can also play the wing.
‘He’s a highly skilled player,’ said Bruins coach Claude Julien on the draft floor Friday. ‘We know he can definitely bring some offense to our team.’
Seguin has shown to be a quick study in breaking down opposition defenses, he also has gotten a quick sense of Boston and what playing in New England could bring.
‘From meeting with them and visiting Boston, you can just tell by the people that are there already that it’s just a phenomenal place to play,’ said Seguin whose dad was a captain of the University of Vermont hockey team.’
“There is so much history there with the Bruins, and the fan base and atmosphere. It’s a hockey town.’
|Bruins land Tyler Seguin||at 7:26 pm ET|
LOS ANGELES — In a predictable move following Edmonton’s selection of Taylor Hall, the Bruins chose Plymouth Whalers center Tyler Seguin with the second overall pick in the NHL draft, a choice they received from the Maple Leafs in exchange for Phil Kessel.
Seguin was ranked as the top overall player in the draft by NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau but, by many accounts may have been a victim of playing for a bad team. While Hall made headlines the past two postseasons, Seguin’s Whalers never made it to the Memorial Cup in his two years in Plymouth.
A common player comparison for Seguin has been Red Wings Hall of Fame center Steve Yzerman. A 6-foot-1, 172-pound right-handed shot, Seguin is considered an elite goal-scorer and playmaker. He is known more for a finesse game than a hard-nosed style. Seguin’s father played college hockey at the University of Vermont in the 1980’s.
After compiling 67 points in his first season with the Whalers, Seguin scored 63 goals and added 58 assists for 106 points. He was awarded the Red Tilson trophy for most outstanding player in the OHL.
There had been talk that the Bruins and Oilers could have worked out a deal in order to secure whichever player the Bruins preferred. While the Bruins would never admit to preferring Hall even if they did, no deal was made.
|Taylor and Tyler: A look back||at 12:53 pm ET|
With either Tyler Seguin or Taylor Hall set to join the Bruins in tonight’s NHL draft, it seems only appropriate to take a look back at what’s happened around WEEI.com in the past month with the two stars.
May 27: I spoke with Seguin about what playing in Boston may be like. We discussed his early struggles in the OHL, potentially playing wing, and his intrigue with jumping right into a push for a Cup with the Bruins. I also spoke to his coach, Mike Vellucci, who compared him to Steve Yzerman.
May 28: Peter Chiarelli gave a quote that, if read into as much as it was here, could suggest the Bruins were leaning towards Seguin.
June 1: We asked you who you wanted for the Bruins. Sixty-two percent of you wanted Hall, 24 percent said they’d be happy with either, and 14 percent preferred Seguin.
June 2: We got word that the Bruins were bringing in Hall for a visit. Seguin also met with the Bruins last weekend and the team visited both players’ homes.
June 4: Peter Chiarelli said Hall and Seguin are so close that trading a large package to secure their preferred player might not be worth it. He emphasized this point several times with the media over the last month.
June 16: Chiarelli admitted that he got a very intriguing offer that stood out from the others involving the second overall pick, but rejected it. He stressed that under no circumstances would the pick be moved, saying “We’re going to take one of those two forwards.”
June 21: Chiarelli said both he and Oilers GM Steve Tambellini were hesitant to show one another their cards.
June 24: Seguin called Boston a “great place, great city.”
|Neely: ‘We’re waiting like everyone else’||06.24.10 at 10:08 pm ET|
While the Board of Governors approved a rule change providing a five-minute penalty for a blindside hit to the head ‘ such as that which sidelined Bruins center Marc Savard this season ‘ Neely emerged from Thursday’s meeting focused on Friday’s draft in which the Bruins have the second overall pick.
The Edmonton Oilers have the first pick in the draft, and with it the possibility of trading down if the player they would select is different than the player the Bruins want. Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin are considered locks to be selected with the top two picks, but so far, the Oilers have not indicated which player they prefer.
There has been much speculation the Oilers plan to take Hall and the Bruins would then choose Seguin, but nothing is definite at this point.
‘Edmonton still hasn’t really said anything, so nothing is etched [in stone]. We’re still waiting like everyone else,’ said Neely, who was named as the Bruins President on June 16.
Neely had attended Board of Governors meetings before, but was doing so his new capacity for the firs time on Thursday.
‘A lot of the stuff I’ve been doing has not really changed that much,’ said Neely. ‘Obviously, a little more responsibility now, which is OK. I’m looking forward to the challenge.’
Among his first duties at the Board of Governors meeting was assessing the blindside hit rule approved Thursday.
‘The one concern that I have is that it’s still going to be a tough rule to call,’ Neely said. ‘I don’t know if you’re going to get everyone happy. That’s the problem.’
In response to a question regarding the Matt Cooke hit on Savard, which caused Savard to incur a significant concussion, Neely said that the hit would be illegal under the new rule, which he generally favors.
‘I think it’s going to be tough for the referee in that split second to really judge the call. Like all new rules, there’s going to be some questions,’ he said. ‘At least there is an attempt to get [hits to the head] out of the game. ‘
|Don’t quit your day jobs||06.23.10 at 5:16 pm ET|
Courtesy of Oilers_Travels and retweeted by the Oilers, here are a couple of pictures of top NHL prospects Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin taking batting practice at Angel Stadium. The two are in town for the NHL draft on Friday night.
|Chiarelli conference call roundup, 6/21||06.21.10 at 12:32 pm ET|
Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli spoke with the media on Monday in a pre-draft conference call. Here are the highlights:
On talks with the Oilers:
“I spoke to Steve [Tambellini, Oilers GM] on the weekend and we really didn’t discuss that in any detail. After speaking with Steve, I think he probably has these two guys as close as we do. Neither of us are really committed to moving forward on that type of discussion. We spoke briefly on the weekend and I would imagine that we’re going to talk again at some point but right now, if the draft was tonight, I’d say there’d be no deal.”
On what has been revealed in talks with Tambellini:
“It is different. Generally I would characterize it as we both don’t want to play any cards to each other right now, if we have any to lay. I genuinely believe that Steve is of the same opinion on these players [as] me or close to them, and they’re very close.
The discussions we’ve had aren’t really in detail because we’re not close to it yet. I don’t know if they’ll ever get truly in detail. It is unique. I think we’re both very non-committal, in fact I know we are when we talk, but we talk in specifics on other fronts. We talk about the boys in general too, as what our thoughts are on each of the kids. It’s a little different in this case.”
On if they like one player more than the other:
“I would say right now as of today we have one guy over the other, but it’s very very close.”
On going back and forth between Hall and Seguin:
“I’ll watch a game with one of the players and come away saying, ‘This is the guy I want.’So that’s a good thing. HYou want both of them. Specifically on Tyler: the speed, the innovation, the vision. He’s got a real sneaky wrist shot that I think is underutilized. He finds ways to go around people with his speed and his style, his stick, and his passing. Dimensional speed, dimensional quickness. Very smart player and is a responsible player.”