Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Boston Bruins Prospects Series: #1 Tyler Seguin

Tyler Seguin, C/W
6-1, 185
January 31, 1992
Shoots: Right
Boston's 1st choice, 2nd overall in 2010 Draft
Signing status: Unsigned

Talent Analysis

Physical: Good size, with athletic frame and room to add mass/strength. Very well conditioned with a body fat percentage of about 7 percent. Plus-skater with extremely quick first step and rapid acceleration. Excellent with both straight-line speed and shifty, lateral elusiveness. Plays an uptempo, aggressive style; never stops moving his feet and very effective when forechecking and putting pressure on the puck carrier. Outstanding stickhandler who carries the puck with authoriy; attacks defenses when he's in possession. Soft hands and a quick stick make him arguably the best passer in the entire draft class; a smooth playmaker who makes those around him better because he can find openings and seams in defenses for prime scoring chances. Superb shooter with a fast release on a hard, accurate drive. Underrated finisher; unlike pure passers, likes to score goals and won't pass up shooting opportunities when they are there. Solid defensively, but will need experience to fine-tune his play in all three zones. Does not play a physical style, but will initiate contact and is willing to take a hit to make the play.

Intangibles: Elite hockey sense; sees the ice extremely well and can instantly diagram the unfolding play in front of him and exploit the options and openings. Excellent work ethic; literally willed himself into becoming an OHL/draft superstar within 18 months of getting off to a brutal start in his major junior career. Mature and polished beyond his years; some say he's sticking to the script, but having spoken to him before his star went supernova, little about him has changed from late '09 until now. Took it upon himself to meet and engage with Bruins fans at Development Camp without having to be prodded by the team to do so, demonstrating that he already understands the off-ice obligations and unwritten rules of conduct as a pro athlete that others take longer to embrace. A clear leader among his peers who will grow and develop into much more as he's surrounded with veteran NHL players like Mark Recchi and Patrice Bergeron among others.
2010 Boston Bruins Development Camp Assessment: Although Seguin was not as productive as fellow OHL draftees Jared Knight and Ryan Spooner, there was little doubt by anyone who watched him that he was the most skilled player on the ice throughout camp. Seguin delivered the goods as advertised in terms of being a speedy, offensive-minded centerman (he played on a line flanked by Knight and '09 first-rounder Jordan Caron in each of the three scrimmages from Thursday-Saturday). He really opened eyes during the drills, where he demonstrated his outstanding skating and puckhandling ability. Seguin was paritcularly good in his shootout demonstrations, and he would have tallied on his final shootout chance after beating Zane Gothberg with a shifty move, but he hit the post. As far as interviews went, there was not a hint of pretention on Seguin's part, and he was extremely accomodating each day during media availability, and I was particularly impressed when I saw him going out and signing autographs and mugging for photos with fans without any prompting. The kid gets it, and Bruins fans should be very happy that he's with the team because at least right now, he has the look of the complete package.

Seguin clearly is a natural center, but is versatile and intelligent enough to begin his NHL career in Boston along the wall if that is what it takes. Director of Central Scouting, E.J. McGuire, told me at the draft that Seguin is skilled and talented enough to perhaps force Boston's hand into keeping him on as a pivot, but the bottom line is-- the kid is not served well by going back to junior, and unless something catastrophic happens at camp, he'll be on the team when they drop the puck in Prague, even if it means playing wing. Eventually though, he'll be the man in the middle, and has the ability and upside to be a top-flight NHLer for years. While Seguin may not be considered a generational talent along the lines of Alexander Ovechkin or Sidney Crosby when they first came in, and he'll likely need an adjustment period in the NHL before the offensive numbers click for him, he's going to be a very good one in time.
The final word
Seguin is Boston's best prospect, and he won't likely be one for long, as it looks like he'll make the team out of camp and contribute right away just like Phil Kessel did four years ago. He's got it all and as I sat next to Joe Haggerty at one of the sessions, I remarked that Seguin is like that kid you all knew growing up who was a great student and athlete, and for whom everything came naturally. You could see him absorbing the instruction and drills the Bruins coaches were teaching like a sponge, and the sky is the limit with him.

Quotable (all quotes provided to B2010DW):

"It was great to be on the ice with the Bruins logo on, even if it was on a practice jersey."- Tyler Seguin, Boston Bruins Development Camp, Wilmington, Mass.; July 6-10, 2010

"Tyler's speed and hockey sense are what make him such a threat to score every time he's out there. He's such a great kid who works hard and is very humble, too. I can't even begin to describe how excited we are that he's a Boston Bruin."- Wayne Smith, Boston Bruins director of amateur scouting, Los Angeles; June 26, 2010

“I wouldn’t say it was a wakeup call, but it was something nice where I can now have a bar set for myself. I know the things I can improve on and hopefully make this organization, make this club and it’s a measuring tool so I can go out this summer and know what I need to work on.”- Tyler Seguin, Boston Bruins Development Camp, Wilmington, Mass; July 6-10, 2010

“Obviously, I’m going to try and put on some more weight. I’ve put on about eight or nine pounds since the season was over. I want to get about five more pounds so I’m up around 195 (pounds). Other than that, it’s just all the little things. You always want to get that one level up in speed and shot, quick hands. You have to be so much faster, a second faster at the next level, so I’m going to be working on the little things like that this summer.”- Tyler Seguin, Boston Bruins Development Camp, Wilmington, Mass; July 6-10, 2010


  1. In the few youtube clips from Development Camp that I saw, the lateral agility really stood out.

    He sounds like he's got some of the best attributes of Bergeron (maturity, hockey sense), Krejci (shiftiness), Savard (playmaking), and Kessel (speed and scoring)... all rolled into one player.

  2. He's a stud, Mike. No question about it. The Bruins may have struck gold with this one. We'll see, but early returns are promising.