Finally, the Boston Bruins will play their season opener tonight against the Dallas Stars. The Bruins are one of just four teams who have yet to start their 2021-22 regular season, but finally, this is changing.
With these two teams facing off, it’s hard not to think about the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and the famous Taylor vs. Tyler debate. The Edmonton Oilers selected Taylor Hall with the first overall pick and Boston picked Tyler Seguin second. There’s no denying that each have had very good careers thus far. Hall won the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player during the 2017-18 season. Although Seguin has not accomplished this feat, he still blossomed into a true first-line center and won a Stanley Cup in 2011 with the B’s.
Truthfully, I don’t think there’s a need to compare them at this juncture. They are entirely different players and clearly weren’t busts by any means. However, now in 2021, things have changed astronomically since their draft days. How many people envisioned back then that Hall would be the player out of the two on the Bruins today?
The road to their current teams
Every Bruin fan remembers the horrendous Tyler Seguin trade. The B’s traded a then 21-year-old kid, Rich Peverley and Ryan Button to the Stars for Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Joe Morrow and Matt Fraser. Eriksson and Smith did well as Bruins, but their times with the team was short. Smith was traded after his second season with the team, while Eriksson would sign with the Canucks after his third. Eriksson, of course, regressed immensely after this, so the Bruins were wise not to re-sign him. Morrow and Fraser never blossomed into full-time NHLers in Boston, either.
Seguin, on the other hand, became an even more dominant player in Dallas. Although he has had injury trouble these last few seasons, there’s no denying Dallas won the trade by a landslide. In 542 games as a Star thus far, he has 225 goals, 291 assists and 516 points. The Bruins felt that he didn’t fit their culture, both on and off the ice. However, even with this, the return was simply not enough for the rising star. The Bruins have obviously remained as contenders since then, but it’s a trade that will forever be a head-scratcher.
Now to focus on Hall, he’s had many different homes since the draft. The Oilers traded Hall to the Devils after his sixth season with the team in exchange for Adam Larsson. As evidenced by his Hart Trophy, his tenure with the Devils was quite strong, but ultimately, fairly short. He played three and a half seasons with the team before being dealt to the Arizona Coyotes during the 2019-20 season.
He had 27 points in 35 games as a rental for the Coyotes, but left because he wanted to play for a contender. However, he was horribly wrong with his next choice, as he signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Buffalo Sabres. Not only were the Sabres horrendous last season, but Hall struggled there. He had just two goals and 19 points in 37 games before being dealt to the Bruins with Curtis Lazar in exchange for Anders Bjork and a second-round pick. This trade has worked out handsomely for the B’s thus far.
Hall was immediately fantastic after joining the Bruins. In 16 games, he scored eight goals and recorded 14 points. The B’s awarded him for his success as well, as they locked him up to a four-year, $24 million contract. This is beneficial for both parties, as Hall has long-term security and the Bruins have an arguably first-line talent playing on their second-line left wing.
Alas, it will be fun seeing Taylor play against Tyler for the first time as a member of the Bruins. Heck, it’s just exciting that the Bruins are finally back. Drop that puck already!