After finding out that his team will pick second overall in the 2010 NHL draft in L.A. on June 25, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said he believes that both top prospects — winger Taylor Hall of the Windsor Spitfires (OHL) and center Tyler Seguin (OHL) of the Plymouth Whalers — could make the NHL next season.
Chiarelli said that he would be very excited to get either.
“I’m excited that we’re going to get that pick, and it means that we’re going to get an impact offensive forward,” Chiarelli said in a teleconference following the draft lottery. “As far as our preference, right now, we’re undecided. We’re still assessing it, but we’re going to get either Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin, who are are both very good offensive forwards. I myself have a preference, but I know in talking to our staff, they flip-flop. They’re undecided.
“[Hall and Seguin are] so close that I’d be very very content with [either] one, depending on who Edmonton picks.”
Here’s hoping that Chiarelli and his brain trust decide on Hall — and that they have the chance to select him.
Many seem to believe that Hall, who had 106 points for Windsor this season, is going to go No. 1 overall, despite the fact that the Central Scouting Bureau rates him second behind Seguin, who also finished with 106 points for Plymouth. But if you look at the Edmonton roster and the talent in its system, it is loaded on the wing and really needs a foundation-type center — something the Oilers really haven’t had since the guy who wore No. 99 for them.
No one is saying that Seguin is the next Wayne Gretzky, but he can serve as the center to build around for a team that has talented young wingers.
The Bruins, on the other hand, are loaded up the middle with the likes of Marc Savard, David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron already slotted in on the 2010-11 roster. With prospects Joe Colborne and Zach Hamill possibly making the club, too, this team needs to replace the scoring it traded to earn the second overall pick — Phil Kessel. Those abundant centers need an explosive wing that will get to the dirty areas or let off a rifle as he motors down the wing. As Chiarelli pointed out, Seguin could play all three forward positions, but Hall is the natural sniper the Bruins need.
An Oilers scout recently told NESN.com that the Oilers would take Hall if they got the No.1 pick. However, following Tuesday’s lottery, one prominent NHL agent very familiar with both players said that judging by the indications he got from the players, the scouts and even a member of the Oilers management team, this wasn’t etched in stone by any means. Hall could very well fall to the Bruins.
“I am nowhere close to convinced that the Bruins will have to choose Seguin or [highly touted defensive prospect Cam] Fowler — Hall could be there,” the source told NESN.com. “If he is [available], the Bruins need to take this kid. He is Phil Kessel times three and minus the attitude or work ethic problems.”
Chiarelli and the Bruins have been crucified all season long for letting Kessel get away and failing to replace his scoring. Now, they could have the chance to do that — and if they get the 6-foot, 180-pound Hall, Bruins fans will no longer worry about KesselMania, because Boston’s talented centers will finally have the young stud winger they lacked this season. During the NHL Draft Lottery Show, Hall stated that he wears No. 4 in honor of Bobby Orr and that it has been “a long-time dream” to play for the Bruins. Wouldn’t it be sweet irony for Chiarelli and the Bruins to draft another sniper that wants to play for Boston with the pick they got for one that didn’t want to wear the Black and Gold anymore?
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