Tyler Seguin’s First Big Contract Coming Into Focus After Taylor Hall, Jeff Skinner Get New Deals

Tyler Seguin's First Big Contract Coming Into Focus After Taylor Hall, Jeff Skinner Get New DealsThe primary narrative leading up to and into the 2010 NHL entry draft was the fact that Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin would be linked throughout their entire careers.

They had battled each other through the junior ranks and were the consensus Nos. 1 and 2 picks in the draft. Things went exactly that way on draft night in Los Angeles, with Hall going first to Edmonton and Seguin landing in the Bruins’ laps at No. 2.

Their careers continue to be compared, and the next comparison will be coming sooner than later. Hall signed a new seven-year extension on Wednesday worth a reported $6 million per season. Now, we sit and wait for the B’s to extend Seguin so we can start the next comparison between the two young forwards.

It’s becoming increasingly safe to assume that if and when the Bruins do extend Seguin, the annual salary will likely be right around that $6 million mark that Hall was just given. The two players are similar in terms of skill, and they’ve both done a nice job in their respective NHL careers through two seasons.

Hall does hold the statistical advantage. He’s been able to amass 49-46-95 totals in that time, while Seguin can “only” boast 40-49-89 totals. Seguin also reached that figure with the benefit of 29 more games. Now, there is something to be said for durability, but Hall should only get stronger.

Seguin has a huge advantage in plus-minus after a year in which he finished second in the league as a plus-34, while Hall only mustered a minus-3 and is a minus-12 for his career. However, as Toronto general manager Brian Burke said, “If you play on a horse [expletive] team, you’re going to have a bad plus/minus.”

And while the Oilers have been one of the NHL’s worst teams in the last two years, the Bruins have been anything but a “horse [expletive] team,” evidenced by the Stanley Cup won in Seguin’s first season. That’s a check in Seguin’s column, no doubt, especially given his play upon returning to the ice in those playoffs, particularly against Tampa Bay in the conference finals. That type of experience is invaluable, and it has to play a role in the negotiation process.

The point here? They’re both tremendous hockey players. While there are many who would say that Hall is the better player with the brighter future, Seguin can’t be more than a peg below him. So it only makes sense that Hall’s deal will serve as the measuring stick for negotiations whenever the Bruins and Seguin sit down to discuss an extension, if they haven’t already.

For what it’s worth, Seguin will be a restricted free agent after the 2012-13 season That’s certainly an interesting point to note, too. It may be in the B’s best interest to lock Seguin up before then, as Peter Chiarelli will have a lot of work to do in the summer of 2013. Andrew Ference and Nathan Horton will be unrestricted free agents, while Tuukka Rask, Jordan Caron, Brad Marchand, Milan Lucic and Seguin will all be RFAs.

So it might behoove Chiarelli and the Bruins to get a few of those deals ironed out before that crucial summer gets here. This is where we must note that the new collective bargaining agreement may change the nature of all of this, but until that happens, this is all we can go off of.

The market is definitely there now, however. Hall’s deal just reaffirms what the B’s probably already knew. That’s because Carolina went and signed Jeff Skinner, another one of the game’s young stars, to a hefty extension this summer, as well. The 20-year-old winger signed a six-year extension earlier this month that will pay him (according to CapGeek.com) $4.35 million in 2013-14 and $6 million per year after that. Skinner, another top pick in that 2010 draft, has been just as good as both Hall and Seguin through his two years and is already a cornerstone of a franchise that spent a lot of money this season.

We don’t know how much Seguin will be given if and when he does get that extension from the Bruins, especially given uncertainty surrounding the league’s economic infrastructure. But it’s pretty safe to assume that it’s just the latest in what’s going to be a long line of comparisons between Seguin, Hall and the rest of the game’s elite young players.

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