BOSTON – At 19-years-old most of us were entering our freshman year of college and making our way into the real world for the first time in our lives. Most of us were struggling to make a name for ourselves in our own small community.
|Seguin walks from the plane after the team arrival on Thursday, May 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) |
Most of us were not making a bid for a Stanley Cup Championship with one of the most historic franchises in the National Hockey League.
19-year-old Tyler Seguin
, however, is doing just that.
“I couldn’t have imagined or dreamed of anything different,” Seguin said.
The youngest Bruin and latest star of the Boston sports scene emerged on the playoff stage in the Eastern Conference finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Seguin’s coming out party was highlighted by a four-point second period in Game 2 of the series.
Now, Seguin’s sights are on a different prize.
“We’re approaching the Stanley Cup Finals as another round, another clean sheet, everything that happened before doesn’t really matter. So we have to go in there with our game plan and accomplish it,” said Seguin.
“But I’m very excited, it’s definitely a dream come true and I want to do everything I can to help.”
Seguin was the No. 2 overall draft pick in last June’s selection and when Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli called his name he knew he would be playing for a cup-contending squad. What he didn’t know however, was that his childhood dreams would come true in his rookie campaign.
“I think that’s every kid’s dreams. It’s obviously in every kid’s head,” he said. “I really want to step back and enjoy the moment. But that being said, I’m very anxious and excited to get going.”
Excited and anxious is a normal feeling for any professional athlete entering a championship series, but especially so for the teenage prodigy. His wiser and more wisdom-filled teammates have the cure for Seguin’s puck-sized butterflies.
“They really have said the obvious, that you have to have fun with this experience. This could be my only year my whole career to be in these shoes right now,” said Seguin of his teammates' advice.
“So you just have to have fun with it and make sure you leave with no regrets and leave it all out there.”
The grind of the season has taken a toll on Seguin’s body and mind, but he’s been able to flourish under the most intense of circumstances.
“Words can’t really describe, it’s a very surreal experience and I really want to take everyday and not get too stressed over it, too nervous. But have fun with it and do everything I can in my power to contribute," Seguin said.
“It’s been a long year, it’s been a lot of hard work, but I’m happy to be here.”