Tyler Seguin, C Plymouth Whalers (OHL)
Born: January 31, 1992 in Brampton, Ontario
Strengths: Skilled, intelligent offensive centerman who makes everyone around him better and brings a lot of good intangibles like leadership and work ethic to the mix. Superb skater who may not be quite as explosive as Taylor Hall, but has a quick initial burst and has top-end speed with that extra breakaway gear. Slippery and elusive; willingly takes the puck into traffic and is able to make plays with little maneuver room. Hockey sense is elite; sees the ice well and reads the unfolding play as effectively as anyone, anticipating openings and sensing his teammates' presence. Excellent passer with the soft and hard touch on the puck for tape-to-tape feeds at just about any range that every top playmaker possesses. Outstanding stickhandler who can dangle with the best of them and a quick enough stick to jump on loose pucks in close and put them into the back of the net. Nice shot; quick, hard wrister that he can get off and on netwithout a lot of time and space to work with. Uses good judgment on shot selection, and will take the puck to the net or can score from outside the faceoff dots. Willing to sacrifice the body in order to make the play. Goes to the front of the net and makes things happen by deflecting shots from the point or finishing off rebound opportunities. Still learning the nuances of defensive play, but hustles on the backcheck and plays responsibly in all zones. Outworks his teammates on and off the ice; a capable leader who was recognized by coach Mike Vellucci and given the captain's 'C' during the season (also captained Team Orr at the 2010 Top Prospects Game). Serious and mature; understands his responsibilities to the team and as a pro prospect, putting on a clinic at the NHL draft combine's physical testing portion. Very competitive; has made no bones about wanting to be the top overall pick next month, and would do anything in his power to make it so.
Weaknesses: Some scouts feel Seguin plays more on the perimeter than he should. Seemed to let the pressure of the Windsor-Plymouth playoff series get to him; was unable to break through for any points and showed some poor body language later on when Windsor took a commanding lead. Had a slow start to his OHL career, and may require a similar transition and adjustment period at the next level. Didn't make the 2010 Team Canada WJC because he tried to do too much and didn't stay true to his strengths. But seriously-- these are nitnoid criticisms at best. There aren't many chinks in this player's overall game, and his skill and character are first-rate.
Style compares to: Steve Yzerman, Steven Stamkos and Pat LaFontaine (Peter Chiarelli)
Draft prediction: Second overall to Boston. Unless Seguin bowls over the Edmonton brass (and with this kid, that's certainly possible) they'll go with Hall because of his myriad accomplishments, name recognition and overall explosiveness and dynamic element. This may prove to be a real blessing in disguise for the B's, who could get the player that more than a few scouts feel will be the better NHLer in the long term in Seguin. He oozes ability and confidence; he seems to have that special "it" just like Hall does, but is wired a little differently from his dynamic counterpart who had a better supporting cast around him (and to Hall's credit stepped up and made things happen regardless of how good his team was). Seguin overcame a poor start in Plymouth as a rookie to finish solidly as a more than a point-per-game player (67 points, 61 contests), then took it to a whole new level in his sophomore campaign, finishing with a share of the league scoring title with 48 tallies and 106 points. He also won CHL Prospect of the Year and OHL MVP honors in the process.
Projection: 1st-line center and future NHL All-Star with 90-100+ point upside. Can play either wing position as well, but will probably do his best work as a center. It's hard not to get caught up in the hyperbole that has surrounded Seguin this season, but like Hall, the kid is a winner. He led Team Canada in scoring at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tourney in August with four goals and 10 points in four games, leading the squad to a 1st-place finish. He doesn't have a whole lot to work on, but people should not expect instant NHL success from Seguin. He may require some time and go through some early frustrations before settling in. But, if he does have an immediate impact, then consider it gravy; just landing a player of his (or Hall's) talent and caliber is a huge boon to the Bruins, who didn't have to finish in the bottom-two to benefit.
Background: Last name is pronounced: Say-genn. Son of Paul and Jackie Seguin. Has younger sisters Candice and Cassidy. His hockey bloodlines run deep: his dad captained the University of Vermont hockey team in 1987-88 and roomed with NHL star John LeClair, while mom played in the Brampton Canadettes developmental system. Originally planned to go the NCAA route with the Michigan Wolverines before opting for the OHL. Was the ninth overall selection in the OHL draft in 2008. Was a teammate of defenseman Julian Melchiori in the Toronto Marlies AAA Midget program. Scored 11 points (eight assists) in six games (finishing second overall in scoring behind linemate John McFarland) for Team Ontario at the 2009 World Under-17 Challenge in Port Alberni, British Columbia. Centered a line with fellow 2010 draft prospects McFarland (Sudbury Wolves) and Tyler Toffoli (Ottawa 67's) at both the World U-17 Challenge and Ivan Hlinka tourneys, winning gold at both, going a perfect 10-0.
"Seguin was in on 43.2 percent of his team's goals this season, which was by far the highest percentage of any OHL player. Hall was on the scoresheet for 32.0 percent of his club's goals."- HockeyProspect.com 2010 NHL Draft Guide
“Look, the world junior situation, whatever happened, right or wrong, he went out and was named OHL player of the month the next two months (December and January). He just said, ‘You know what, obviously I wasn’t good enough, in whomever’s view, I’ve got to work harder.’ ”- Paul Seguin to the Calgary Herald; April 2010
“I’m not a flashy, exciting player, but I am a player who can play down low, I can be responsible with a minute left and we’re up a goal. I also get a lot of kudos for being a player who can make the other players around me better, be a playmaker and also score when my team needs it.”- Tyler Seguin to the Calgary Herald, April, 2010
“As an opponent, Taylor (Hall) is a great player. He’s a different player, though. I’m a centerman and he’s a winger. He can fly and plays a different style than I do. I think the media has made it out like we’re archenemies, but that’s not true. I’ve been around him (in the same dressing room) a couple of times this year and we get along fine. We’re both very competitive, and I think that brings out the best in both of us.”- Tyler Seguin to the New England Hockey Journal; April, 2010
“My whole life, my dad’s been saying, ‘Make everyone around you look good; if you can make other players better, then the team is going to be successful.’ I’ve just tried to live that by going out and dishing the puck and being a playmaker.”- Tyler Seguin to the New England Hockey Journal; April, 2010
“What gets underrated in Seguin is his skating — it’s great. Hall has world-class speed, but I grade them both as being ‘5’ skaters; you can’t do better than that.”- NHL scout
Bruins will get No. 2 pick in the draft
Seguin's future could be in black and gold