Bruins open to more pre-draft trades

Friday, 05.28.2010 / 5:06 PM
John McGourty  - Staff Writer
TORONTO -- The Boston Bruins will be happy if they get either Plymouth Whalers center Tyler Seguin or Windsor Spitfires right wing Taylor Hall, ranked first and second, respectively, by NHL Central Scouting, with the No. 2 pick in the 2010 Entry Draft on June 25 in Los Angeles, General Manager Peter Chiarelli said Friday at the NHL Scouting Combine.

And they might be interested in trading up to get another player in the Top 10, he said.

The Edmonton Oilers have the No. 1 pick and they are expected to choose Hall, who was just named the MVP of the Memorial Cup for the second-straight season.

"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.

"Tyler, I don't think knew what to expect. 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 traveled to suburban Brampton, Ontario, Tuesday evening to talk with Seguin and his parents. He said he will be going to Kingston, Ontario, within the next two weeks to talk to Hall and his parents.

"I'm really happy and thankful that we're going to get one of those two," he said. "They're terrific kids and good players in their own way. 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.

"Both kids said they would play any position. I've seen Tyler play the wing. A lot has been written and said that it's a more natural fit for Taylor to come to us because he's a wing and Tyler to go to Edmonton because he's a center. Half the time I've seen Tyler, he's been on wing. He can play wing and frankly, it might be a way to enter him into the NHL, on the wing. Taylor told us that he's played center and loves playing center. That shouldn't be a distinguishing factor."

The Bruins have four picks among the first 50 draftees this year. They acquired the No. 2 and No. 32 pick in the Sept. 19, 2009 trade that sent forward Phil Kessel to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a first- and a second-round pick in 2010, and a first-round pick in 2011. The Bruins also have their own No. 15 pick in the first round and the No. 45 pick in the second round.

The NHL Scouting Combine puts prospective draftees through a rugged series of physical tests and offers the teams a chance to interview players in whom they are interested. Chiarelli said the Bruins interviewed about 60 players this week, about 20 a day for about 25 minutes each.

"It's a long week. You always pay close attention to these interviews for little bits and pieces here and there," he said. "Having four picks in the first round-and-a-half, you pay even more attention to it. I thought it was good. We came in with a well-tailored list of questions this year. We got in depth with a lot of guys. It's long. You're there in a small, hot room for a while. We got done last night at 7 p.m. and it's tiring for us and the kids."

Chiarelli said that his visit to Seguin's home was a relaxed affair, unlike the tough battery of questions during his team interview on Wednesday.

"We sat for a couple of hours at the kitchen table with his parents and their dogs and their daughters," Chiarelli said. "It was important for us. We'll do the same with Taylor. We're going up in a couple of weeks to Kingston. This is a good environment to assess, but to see them out of this environment and in their household environment is good. The kids are nervous here and they're coached. It was a good meeting."

Chiarelli was asked if he would consider trading some of his lower picks, or current players, or a package of both to acquire another one of the top-10 players in this year's draft.

"Sure. The scenarios that we've looked at and gone through, I was saying to (Director of Player Personnel) Scott Bradley today, is it because we're more tuned in this year to the higher picks or does it just seem deeper, and it's deeper," Chiarelli said. "The player you get at four, five, six, seven, you're looking at a really good player, a really good player. You look at it. It hasn't happened often but you look at what first-round pick you bundle in with that. If you're looking at a player next year, I have to be careful with that because there are some terrific players next year too. The strength of this year's draft, it's in the forefront.

"I think I'm a little more motivated now to do that. As far as Taylor vs. Tyler, no. ... You have to be careful. 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."

It seems far less likely that Chiarelli will make an acceptable offer to Oilers General Manager Steve Tambellini for the top pick. He said he has gotten some offers for the No. 2 pick.

"Yes, and I would expect that," Chiarelli said. "I had a brief discussion with Steve, just over a beer the other night, and I said 'I guess we're supposed to have a conversation about it,' so we chuckled and he said, 'Yeah, we will at some point.'"

Chiarelli said he was impressed with Hall's play at the Memorial Cup, but that it didn't raise his opinion. The bar was already high.

"It didn't. He's shown on a world level that he can win," Chiarelli said. "But he did that last year. He's a real competitor. I know a lot of people are drawing comparisons between the two because Windsor shut out Tyler. I saw one of those games live and three of them on video and Windsor can probably beat half the teams in the American league. They were a great team.

"Those were tremendous accomplishments for Taylor. If you watched the games, he competed and won't take no for an answer and wants to get to that net. He wins, and they won. They have a tremendous team. They have nine to 11 guys who will play in the NHL on that team. It's apples and oranges. If we want to make that comparison, we have to put Tyler in Taylor's shoes and see what he would have done over the course of two years, the Windsor team was that good. That's one of the exercises that you go through. Taylor has shown that he can win and be an integral part. Two Memorial Cup MVPs is terrific.

"When (Tyler) was 15, he grew 6 inches. Today, did you see him with his shirt off? That was pretty impressive, the muscle development and the girth, the mass. No question he gotten a lot stronger and more confident. His levels of improvement, the gaps, are big, what he's done, season to season, as far as strength and confidence and even within this past season."

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