During last years off-season Peter Chiarelli
shipped an unhappy Phil Kessel
for a handful of draft picks
, including one that eventually resulted in the No. 2 overall selection of this years NHL Entry Draft
. What was viewed as a risky move to begin with quickly became a Beantown frenzy. A strong draft with the top two prospects, Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin virtually even, is every hockey fanatic’s dream, especially when you’re a Bruins
fan. B’s fans have been on the receiving end of multiple bum deals over the past few decades from the Thornton trade, to sending out Kris Versteeg
for an under-achieving Brandon Bochenski
, they’ve seen it all. Now finally, after two stomach-wrenching playoff exits in the past two years, their key to avoiding a second-round choke for a third time in as many years may be in the cards.
Taylor Hall made it no secret during Versus’ coverage of the Draft Lottery that he wants to be in a Bruin’s uniform come draft day, June 25th, and he may be just what the doctor ordered. After Michael Ryder’s subpar 2009-2010 campaign in the books, and Marco Sturm’s continued injury trouble, goal scoring wingers are few and far between for an offensively troubled Bruins team. Going from leading the league in 2008-2009 to dead last the following year, the team desperately needs to address its offensive woes. And with unparalleled depth down the middle with the services of Savard, Krejci, and Bergeron, the Bruins are in need of a goal-scoring winger. While Seguin put up more goals, Hall with his quick release and that rare finishing touch, appears to be their man, finishing out his season with Windsor boasting 40 goals, 66 assists, and a total of 106 points in just 57 games this season. On top of leading his team to yet another Memorial Cup championship and being named tournament MVP for the second consecutive year.
So what is stopping this seemingly perfect match from being united? Steve Tambellini
and the Edmonton Oilers
, who have the first overall pick in the draft. Hall and Seguin have gone back and fourth for the number one spot and there is no clear-cut favorite, but Hall has been the more publicized and sought after player
in many scenarios according to NHL execs. However, the Bruins may catch a break, with Seguin being a middle-man, and the Oilers needing to fill a few gaps at the center position, Seguin could be the better fit. On top of supposedly having the better toolset for a long-term NHL tenure, it makes for a much tougher decision on Edmonton’s part on who to select. They need to decide on whether to pick the natural center in Seguin, or to take the winger Hall, and convert him to a center-man, the ladder being the much more difficult option, although still a very feasible one. Both GM’s are still meeting with both players and their families, and will have more of a clear favorite within the next week or so.
Beantown has a hockey market in which either player could either thrive, or be crushed in depending on the numbers they put up. But what makes Hall an even sweeter fit for the Big Bad Bruin’s besides bringing more of a finesse element to the cities rough-em-up hockey culture, is the hockey legend he most admires. His idol? Bobby Orr, whose number he wore for his now former team, the Windsor Spitfires. What better person to have one of your top prospects mold his game after, especially when that player is one of the all-time greats, and came out of your organization.
We’ll see what happens come draft day, but man, tell me it wouldn’t be sweet seeing a play-maker like Savvy toss some sauce, and thread the needle to such a dangerous scorer like Taylor Hall. It has the makings for a lethal scoring combination and the beginning of a long-awaited hero in Boston.