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Taylor or Tyler? That is the Question

Either Tyler Seguin (left) or Taylor Hall (right) will be selected by the Boston Bruins in this years NHL Draft with the second overall pick, the other will go first overall to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

With the second pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, the Boston Bruins select……Tyler Seguin? Of course everyone was hoping that the Bruins would get Taylor Hall over Seguin, but to have the opportunity to get Seguin is one Boston should not pass up.

When these two young stars announced that they were going to declare for the draft, analysts all over made note that the two of them could be drafted and start the very the next season and be an impact. So for the Bruins to get an immediate impact player just after making it to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals just a couple months ago, is huge.

“Those two players, Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin, are two terrific players, and they’re both tremendous young kids too, so we’re going to get one of those two players,” Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said. “They both want to win. That was one of the top denominators in talking to both of them.”


The way these two players are being talked about so far, two other former first overall picks come to my mind. Those two players are Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. Now Hall or Seguin may not be as highly regarded as either Crosby or Ovechkin, but by the way analysts are talking, it’s looking like the two will certainly have a very similar rivarly.

After the 2004 draft when Ovechkin was drafted No. 1 overall and then the following year Crosby was selected with the first overall pick,  people instantly knew that the two players were going to be compared to each other throughout their entire careers, and so far that is true. I think that the same thing is going to happen with both Hall and Seguin as well. Sure they may play different positions than each other, but it is so easy to ask the question who will have the better career?  

Whether the Bruins get lucky and the Edmonton Oilers select the center Seguin from the Plymouth Whalers with the first overall pick and Boston end up with the winger from the Windsor Spitfires Hall, or vice versa, they’re very lucky. For that we need to thank the Toronto Maple Leafs, who gave us their first round draft pick for Phil Kessel just last year.  

Along with trading away Kessel, Boston also traded away his very productive scoring touch. It was clear all last season that Boston needed someone to step up and score in Kessel’s absence but it never fully happened, especially on the wing position. That is why Hall would be the better player for the Bruins immediately because he plays the wing position and he would help the team tremendously. The Bruins have a lot of depth at the center position with such players as Marc Savard, Patrice Bergeron, and David Krejci, so it would be “more” difficult to find room for Seguin rather than Hall, but that doesn’t mean Seguin wouldn’t be a great fit.

The Case for Hall

His two main strengths are his speed and his ability to score. His quickness on the ice often creates a major headache for a team’s defense and he has an extremely hard shot. It has already been said that his scoring ability is highlight-reel quality, and that is something the Bruins desperately need.

After three seasons with Windsor, Hall collected a very impressive 123 goals. He is 6-foot-1 and weighs 185 pounds, and it is said that he is not afraid to lay down the big hits and play tough. The Bruins could always use another hard hitter and if he’s someone who can score as well, then that is perfect.  

Weakness???

So I’m not even sure I would classify this as a weakness, but some analysts are saying that Hall is a little careless sometimes because he will try too hard to lay down a big hit and then he’ll end up out of position. They say that he is able to get up after being hit, but the hits will only get bigger as he heads into the NHL.

So I don’t really see him have any real “weaknesses,” just the fact that he tries too hard and gets caught up sometimes. He’s a tough kid so that is something Boston doesn’t have to worry about if they draft him.

Overall

Patrick King of Sportsnet.ca has been following Hall’s career closely and has praised Hall very much. He has said that Hall’s personality will take him far in his career.

“He’s born to be the No. 1 overall pick. He handles the media well and he is very personable. He’s great with fans as well,” King said. “He obviously knows the game when it comes to public relations, but you can tell he has a natural confidence and loves the game, so he is always happy to talk about hockey.”

The Case for Seguin

So I could praise Hall all day if I wanted, but Seguin is just as good as Hall, so we can’t look past the fact that Boston has depth at center, and that Seguin would be a great addition to our team. There is also the possibility that Boston trades away one of their centers so that they are able to slide Seguin right in, but if that doesn’t happen, then the team might have to slot Seguin into the wing position anyways.

Seguin has been compared to another NHL player who made his mark on the league, and that is Steve Yzerman because of his leadership and his two-way game. Seguin’s leadership is one that is incredibly hard to look past and just overall, he is well-liked by everyone.

He knows the game maybe more than anyone else in the draft and at 18 years old, he’s well on his way to being a leader on an NHL team. The way analysts describe him makes me think a lot about Savard and how he is such a strong leader and very versatile. Now I don’t know if Seguin can set up plays like Savard, but he can certainly score more than him.

Last year, Seguin had 48 goals and 58 assists for 106 points for the Plymouth Whalers. He was named the OHL Player of the Year as well. He typically plays on both the power play and the penalty kill because he is so versatile. Seguin may not be as fast as Hall, but he’s not the slowest player by any means. He is also incredibly smart on the ice and knows where to be and where to put the puck (aside from the back of the net).

Weakness?

How is it that neither Hall nor Seguin have any real weaknesses? This is making it difficult on me because it is so hard to find anything wrong with either of them. For Seguin, it is said that he needs to work on face-offs and be a little more physical. He has the strength to take and land big hits but he normally shys away from the physical part of the game; remind you of Crosby at all? Of course, that could be said for any player who is smart on the ice and who wants to protect the puck.

In terms of working on his face-offs, I’m sure he “could” work on them, but if the Bruins put him on the line with Bergeron, he will not have to worry about winning a face-off ever. The Bruins have plenty of players who can win face-offs, so that should not be a problem for him, unless he does play the center position.

Overall

Going back to King on personality, this time for Seguin: 

“If the media were picking the first overall pick based on the charisma and the answers that they get for their questions, there is no doubt it would be Tyler Seguin at No. 1. He basically has the media eating out of the palm of his hand every time he talks,” King said.  “He gives you answers that you’re not expecting and really is impressive on his toes. He’s polished and can answer questions before you ask them, a very charismatic individual.”

So Who Does Boston Draft?

In the perfect world, the Oilers would take Seguin based on what they need. Boston would end up with Hall, which fits perfectly based on their needs. Will that actually happen? Probably not. Rumors have it that the Oilers plan on taking Hall because they “consider” him to be the top pick, but either way, the Bruins are getting a player that could very well be in their organization for a very long time. Either player could also prove to be the missing piece Boston so desperately needs in order to make it to the Stanley Cup.

With the second overall pick, the Bruins are going to be getting a great player, but with the other picks they have (15th overall as well), Chiarelli noted that the team might trade them away to get better now, rather than later. With either Hall or Seguin, the team would be getting better as early as next season, so it’s looking like Chiarelli wants to win and wants to win soon.

There was a rumor floating around that said the Bruins were looking to trade the second pick for Jason Spezza of the Ottawa Senators, but that rumor was quickly denied. Sure, Spezza would bring a great leader and goal-scorer to the Bruins, but either Hall or Seguin could also provide that and are almost 10 years younger. So to trade away the second pick would not be a wise decision.

I would honestly like to see the Bruins draft Hall because I like physical players who have a sniper for a slap-shot, but if he is taken by the Oilers, then I will still be happy to get Seguin. The only way I would not be happy is if Boston trade away the pick. I think that these two players have incredible promise which the Bruins shouldn’t give that up.

Then I think it comes back to who will end up having the better career. If one of those players is in Boston, I think it will give the team even more publicity and could even give us the chance to fight for the Cup. I’m tired of hearing about how either Crosby or Ovechkin are the best players in the league; maybe next year one of Boston’s players will be in the discussion as well.

Whether the Oilers leave Boston with Hall or Seguin, I think that it’s a win-win situation. For that, we still have to thank the Maple Leafs for being as awful as they were last season. Otherwise, the Bruins would have been left with some mediocre player in return for Kessel. Now the Bruins have the chance to have a premire player for years to come. Thank you Toronto!

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