Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli was scheduled to leave Toronto on Sunday for Ottawa where he and his staff will have their pre-draft scouting meetings in advance of the June 25-26 NHL draft in Los Angeles.
The Bruins are picking second overall, and after meeting with both top prospects — Plymouth Whalers (OHL) center Tyler Seguin and Windsor Spitfires (OHL) winger Taylor Hall at the annual NHL Combines in Toronto — Chiarelli is even more excited to draft either of the two players.
"I'm really happy and thankful that we're going to get one of those two," Chiarelli told NHL.com. "They're terrific kids and good players in their own way."
After both players did their interviews with Chiarelli and his staff, the sense was that Seguin is soaking in the hysteria leading into the draft, while Hall, who has been heavily hyped since he became a teenager, is ready for the draft to come and anxious to get past the hoopla that comes with being a possible No. 1 pick overall.
"They're both really good kids," Chiarelli said. "I think it's newer to Tyler, this whole scene. Taylor is accustomed to it and you can see it. He was tired coming out of the Memorial Cup. I think they're both ready to get it over with. … Taylor seems to want more to get it over with."
During his visit to Toronto, Chiarelli went out to suburban Brampton to sit down and chat with Seguin and his family. The Bruins GM came away very impressed from that experience as well as Seguin’s handling of some tough questioning from Chiarelli and his staff.
"Tyler, I don't think knew what to expect," Chiarelli told NHL.com. "I think we grilled them pretty good. … There were some probing questions and I don't think he was prepared for it. He did really well, but it was different from the night before when we had coffee and fruit with his parents. He was good. He's a good kid."
Chiarelli did stress though that the combines and the trip to Brampton to meet the Seguins didn’t sway him in one direction or change his preference between Seguin or Hall.
"As far as Taylor vs. Tyler, no. … You have to be careful," he said. "You can't make major changes because of (the Combine) unless there's a major red flag. We had a few red flags and the kids will be affected on our list.
"We're really close. It may change in the coming three days when we have our amateur meetings. When you get to this point, maybe that's when you switch over to need. I'm not saying we're going to do that."