The future of the Boston Bruins is in good, no check that, great hands and those hands belong to the second overall selection in the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft, Tyler Seguin. After seeing him exhibit his overall skills at the Bruins Development Camp, it was easy to see why NHL Central Scouting had him rated as the number one eighteen year old player on earth. Taylor Hall, who was drafted first overall by the Edmonton Oilers, had the advantages of playing for Team Canada in the World Junior Championships (what were Canadian hockey officials thinking when they left Seguin off that team?) and in the Memorial Cup Tournament, which means he played on much bigger stages than Seguin. To Hall’s credit, he took full advantage of those stages and that’s something great athletes do. Both players will be impact players, if not superstars, one day in the National Hockey League. Chances are the debate as to who is the better player will continue for years. Boston fans, however, feel they know the answer to that question already. B’s enthusiasts flocked to the Ristuccia Center, which is the Bruins training center in Wilmington, Massachusetts, and were highly impressed with Seguin’s play. Each day, at least 800 people filled the stands and on the final day of camp, Saturday, 1300 fans of all ages, showed up looking to see what the buzz was all about and after witnessing the young star’s every move, they came away convinced he was the right choice for their team. At the conclusion of the camp’s scrimmage game, he skated off the ice to the repeated chants of “Tyler, Tyler, Tyler…” Teenaged girls shouted, “We love you, Tyler!” Seguin was not oblivious to the show of adoration. He looked into the crowd and said, “Thank you” with a grin that showed humility along with a touch of embarrassment. He did not need to be embarrassed because as one former professional minor league player put it, “There is some great talent on the ice and Seguin is the man among boys.”
After the disappointing playoff loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, Bruins fans were pessimistic about the future. They needed a reason to return to the TD Garden and have found one in Seguin. Of course, it is unfair for anyone to think the Canadian Hockey League’s Player of the Year will step into the NHL, score fifty goals, one hundred points, lead Boston to a Stanley Cup victory and be the MVP of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Those are unrealistic expectations for any player making the jump from junior hockey to the NHL. Sidney Crosby, Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, and the greatest player of all time, Bobby Orr, all needed more than one year to do that but Seguin gives the Boston faithful hope which is something they had lost after “The Collapse.” General Manager Peter Chiarelli is to be congratulated for making the trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs which led to bringing Seguin to Boston. The Stanley Cup starved faithful, who just two months ago, were calling for Chiarelli to be fired are back in his corner and very happy with his job performance. They are also confident they will be very happy with Seguin’s job performance for years to come.