With just seven regular season games left in his rookie season, 19-year-old Tyler Seguin
has begun to feel more comfortable in the B’s line-up and has translated that comfort to impressive play on the ice.
|Boston Bruins' Tyler Seguin, right, and Toronto Maple Leafs' Francois Beauchemin battle for position during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto. (AP Photo/The Can |
“I think I’ve felt more comfortable for a while now and more confident,” Seguin said this morning.
Seguin, who was the No. 2 overall draft pick in last year’s Entry Draft, grew up always being the best player on his team, and throughout his junior career with the Plymouth Whalers, admittedly didn’t have to battle as much or play as much of the physical style of hockey the Bruins organization expects.
The adjustment from waiting in the slot to receive a pass and bang home a goal, to battling along the boards and fighting off defenders has been an area of Seguin’s game he’s had to work on.
“I think it’s something I’ve had to grow into. I’m still trying to find my way in this league,” said Seguin. “I’m still trying to find all the little things, but with all the games I’ve played, I’ve definitely learned a lot.
“Obviously, it’s different from junior where there I didn’t really have to go in on the corners too much or battle too much.
"But here I think the top players have to be the best in the corners and that’s what I’ve tried to do,” he said.
Through the ups-and-downs of his rookie campaign, Seguin has played in 68 of Boston’s 75 games with an 11-11-22 scoring line.
While throughout the season Seguin has shown flashes of his offensive brilliance, recently, as his confidence in himself has grown, so has the coaching staff’s confidence in their youngest forward.
Seguin has been a stable force on the B’s second power play unit of late, one of the first opportunities the youngster has had on special teams, and his newly formed line with Rich Peverley
and Chris Kelly
has been a solid unit for Boston, highlighting the team’s depth.
“Both Peverley and Seguin on the wing really bring some speed. And we know that Kelly is also a good skater but is also a very reliable two-way player,” Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said of the line.
“So we felt good about that threesome and lately they’ve been building that chemistry, they’ve been getting some chances.”
When Seguin was drafted as the No. 2 overall choice behind Edmonton’s Taylor Hall, a competition was immediately laid out between the two forwards. While Hall flourished with the rebuilding Oilers before being sidelined with an ankle injury, Seguin battled it out on a team full of veterans where he had to earn his time on a club that will play in the postseason.
“When I first came here it was always about earning my way up and trying to take advantage of all the opportunities I’ve been given,” Seguin said.
Seguin will get an opportunity to play an important role in the Bruins playoff run in his rookie season, something he considers a best-case scenario when it comes to the long-term affect the run could have on his development and career.
“This is a whole new experience coming up, obviously my first playoffs in my first year,” he said. “So I think that’s anything a guy could ever dream or hope for.
"And right now I'm just trying to earn my way up and do my best."