But Tyler Seguin’s keeping things in perspective
Tyler Seguin’s lightning quick wrist shot was on display during a Team Canada red and white power play scrimmage this week at Mile One Centre.
© — Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram
Tyler Seguin is the most prominent player among the dozens attending the Canadian junior hockey team’s development camp in St. John’s this week, but the second overall pick in June’s NHL Entry Draft is honest when he says he’d rather be playing for the Boston Bruins than competing at the world junior hockey championship beginning in late December. “I really don’t want to go back to junior,” said the Bruins’ star prospect, who played for the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers last season. “If I had to go back to junior, but I made this (Team Canada), it would be bittersweet, I suppose.”
Seguin’s goal from close range over goalie Olivier Roy’s shoulder showed the sort of scoring touch around the net the Boston Bruins were hoping for when they made the Brampton, Ont., native the second overall pick in June’s NHL draft.
His long-range shot isn’t too shabby, either.
Seguin is one of 46 players taking part in the four-day development camp which concludes tonight at Mile One Centre in St. John’s. A smaller number of players will be invited to a selection camp in December, at which time the squad will be cut to 22 for the world junior tournament that begins Boxing Day in Buffalo, N.Y.
Seguin, who competed last season with the Ontario Hockey League’s Plymouth Whalers, finished the season ranked atop the NHL Central Scouting’s list of draft eligible players, one spot ahead of Windsor Spitfires’ Taylor Hall. Hall was also invited to the junior camp, but opted not to attend thereby removing himself from the world junior team’s mix.
The two players tied for the OHL's regular season scoring crown with 106 points, and the Edmonton Oilers chose to make Hall the No.1 pick overall.
A quiet, personable six-foot-one centre, who signed a three-year entry deal with the Bruins Wednesday, Sequin has cleary taken all the hype involving Hall and himself in stride.
Asked after practice this week if he expects to be compared to Hall for the rest of their careers, Seguin just shrugged.
“It’s fine by me,” he said. “It will mean we’ve both been successful in the NHL. We’re living the dream, but right now I’m trying to stay focused on myself.
“Even if there are comparisons between us down the road, there are still many steps to get on that (NHL) road,” said Seguin, who continues to draw rave reviews.
Team Canada coach Dave Cameron said the easiest way to describe Seguin is, “He was a second overall pick — in some people’s minds, (should have been) the first overall pick — to the best league in the world. If you’re in that category, to me that says it all. That’s how good he is.”
Cameron, who coaches the OHL’s Mississauga-St. Michael’s Majors, added, “When you look at a guy like that, who’s rated that high, you know that he can do everything at a high speed. He doesn’t have very many weaknesses in his game.
“And he’s mature beyond his years.”
Since the draft, Seguin has learned very quickly what it’s like to be a high profile hockey player with great expectations. The spotlight is getting brighter, and there’s more and more demand for his time.
“I’ll go in net to make an NHL roster." Tyler Seguin
It comes with the territory, according to the 18-year-old.
“Hockey is an entertainment business and this is what I want to do the rest of my life,” he said. “Not only do you have to do your work on the ice, but you have to be a people person, you might say. All of that comes with it.”
Seguin didn’t make Team Canada last year, the first time, he says, he’d ever been cut from any team.
Though obviously disappointed, Seguin said that’s behind him, although he hinted that he might have something to prove.
“Anytime you come to a camp like this, you always want to make a statement,” he said. “But regardless of what comes out of this camp, my goal is to make the NHL next year.
“I really don’t want to go back to junior. If I had to go back to junior, but I made this (Team Canada), it would be bittersweet, I suppose.
“The best junior players in Canada are at this camp, so it’s just part of my development and it’s been a good experience.”
Seguin was impressive at the Bruins’ development camp earlier this summer where over 2,00O fans showed up at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, Mass., to catch their first glimpse of the Bruins top pick.
“You go into rookie camp blind with no idea what to expect,” said Seguin.
“I decided to be as mentally and physically prepared as I could. I did my best and got my feet wet. I know a little bit more what to expect now. In the meantime, I’m just working on getting in on-ice shape after a lot of off-ice work.”
If he earns a spot on the Boston Bruins, Seguin may find himself playing different position than last year with the Whalers.
Boston general manager Peter Chiarelli has hinted that if his star prospect makes the big club, he might start on the wing and that’s no big deal for Seguin.
“I wanted to be a more diverse player by the time I came to my draft year in the OHL. I’m a natural centreman, but I played wing in my OHL rookie season and I eventually got comfortable playing the wing.
“This past season, I was back at centre and I’ve also played the point on the power play,” Seguin noted.
“I’ll go in net to make an NHL roster,” he added with a smile.