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The NHL Journey is Just Beginning for Hall and Seguin

by Abigail Seaver / Boston Bruins -- Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall knew that the combine was an important part of the draft process and, now that it's over for them, both skaters are relieved.

Top hockey prospect and potential No. 1 overall draft pick Taylor Hall speaks to the media during the NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto Friday, May 28, 2010. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darren Calabrese)
“It’s a unique experience. Something I’ve never really been through before and something I’ll never go through again,” said Hall of the 2010 and his own preparation for this June's draft. “It’s been pretty fun.”

Hall wasn’t "fortunate" enough to partake in all of the combines testing because of lingering injuries he sustained while helping the Winsor Spitfires to a second straigh Memorial Cup Championship.

“I got pretty banged up,” Hall remarked when asked why he was missing from some physical tests. “I played almost 100 games this year so I’ve had a couple injuries that I just kind of reviewed with the doctors.

"They said it would be a good idea not to participate [in the combine].”

Seguin, who had some time to rest and recouperate for the combine, spoke about his second experience with the somewhat grueling circuit.

“I actually did it for fun last summer, if you can say that, for fun,” Seguin joked. “That was the last time I threw up. This was the most recent time. It was very exhausting.”

But to Seguin, and to Hall, every minute of pain and exhaustion was worth it.

Top hockey prospect and potential first-overall draft pick Tyler Seguin, right, goes through testing during the NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto Friday, May 28, 2010. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darren Calabrese)
“Yeah, oh yeah. I think just dreaming of this year I don’t think it could have gone any other way," said Seguin. “I’ve been working my hardest.

"It’s one heck of a ride.”

EJ McGuire, director of Central Scouting, was watching both of the young men take that ride from junior hockey to the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

“Both are going to be stars in the NHL and both are going to be good standard bearers for our league,” said McGuire after the combine.

“But yet every other player we have going through if we see, and I’m only at this about five years, is that the kids are more polished physically and more polished speaking wise. And you know what? That [bodes well for] the future of the NHL.”

McGuire talked about how this new “breed” of hockey player may be more attentive to coaches. These days, as evidenced by the mental and physical tests at the NHL Scouting Combine, the prospects are being coached as to their every move.

And they are listening!

“Now they’re coached by their physical therapist and everyone, but they’re listening to their coaches…the fact that they’re listening might mean that they will listen to their coaches on the ice too,” said McGuire.

In late June, Hall and Seguin will be listening to loud speakers in the Staples Center, as they wait for their names to be called by either the Edmonton Oilers or the Boston Bruins.

Both seem eager to go to begin their NHL experience and Boston would be proud to have either.

“We’re going to get one of those two,” said Chiarelli as he prepared to leave the combine on Friday afternoon.

“They’re terrific kids and they’re good players in their own way," continued Chiarelli when asked who he would choose given the B's had the first pick. "We’re really close, if we had one its really close.”

“Really close.”
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