WILMINGTON, Mass. — After months of buildup, the Tyler Seguin Era has finally begun for the Bruins.
Of course, there's still the little matter of Seguin actually making the roster, which despite his prodigious skill and pedigree as the second overall pick in this year's draft, Seguin isn't taking for granted.
"Go out there and have fun, but obviously leave everything out there, work my hardest, try to make an impression and try to earn a spot on this roster," said Seguin when asked his goals this fall after he – and 23 other prospects – took the ice for the first sessions of the Bruins' rookie camp on Sunday at Ristuccia Arena.
"I'm very excited," added Seguin. "It's nice to know that everything is finally here. This is where all the big impressions are made."
Seguin's mature approach to recognizing that he still needs to play his way onto the roster continues to make a positive impression on Bruins management.
"It's consistent with when we first started to interview him prior to drafting him," said general manager Peter Chiarelli. "He's a mature kid. We've had discussions with him, like 'Hey, nothing's guaranteed here. You're a terrific player.' So it's not surprising, but it is a marvel that he is sincere in saying that. He obviously knows he has to put in the time and he has to make the team. It speaks to his maturity, which is nice as he is only 18 years old."
Seguin had some help in preparing for this camp and adopting such a mature approach, as he worked out with about 10-15 NHLers this summer in Toronto, including stars Mike Cammalleri, Scott Gomez and Jason Spezza.
"I had a lot of time to ask a lot of questions about what to expect, and how to get the vets' respect a little more," said Seguin. "A big guy [who helped] was Matt Stajan. Him and Scott Gomez taught me a lot of little things."
Seguin started put those lessons into practice on Sunday. He showed some early chemistry in the first two on-ice sessions skating on a line between second-round pick Jared Knight and Jamie Arniel, the veteran of the group who played in Providence last year after being taken in the fourth round in 2008.
"We were clicking today," said Seguin. "Obviously in a game it will be a little different, but I don't think we'll have any problem."
They'll get the opportunity to play in games later this week, as the Bruins will take on the New York Islanders in a pair of rookie games at the Garden on Wednesday and Thursday, with the team reporting that over 7,000 tickets to each game have already been sold.
"I'm really looking forward to it," said Seguin of the rookie games. "I know there's supposed to be a decent crowd and it will be my first kind of taste of an NHL environment and atmosphere, but in the end I'm just going to go out there, play my game, work my hardest and we'll see what happens."
Bruins fans are most anxious to see what happens with Seguin's position as a pro. He's a natural center, and lined up in the middle between Knight and Arniel on Sunday, but might have to start his NHL career on the wing because of Boston's depth at center. Chiarelli didn't even need to be asked about the situation before addressing it.
"As far as, if your next question is whether Tyler is a center or a wing, he'll probably stay at center for a bit," said Chiarelli. "It's not the first time I've been asked that question. So we'll see how it goes."
Seguin is fine playing either position, or anywhere else on the ice as long as it means making the big club.
"I'm pretty comfortable and confident in either position," said Seguin. "I've played both over my OHL career, so coming in here [I'm fine with] any position, whether it's goalie or one of those two positions, I'll play it to make the team."
Is Seguin any good between the pipes? "No, I'm brutal, actually," said Seguin with a smile.
So goalies Michael Hutchinson, Matt Dalton and Adam Courchaine can relax. Seguin isn't going to try to steal their jobs. They just have to worry about stopping him in the drills and scrimmages. That might not be so relaxing after all.
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