Tyler Seguin will play more minutes soon, Bruins fans. No need to fret. There is no need for Claude Julien to rush Seguin, forcing him into a role that he may not be ready for.
Seguin is still learning the professional hockey game, and despite the fact that he looks like a budding superstar at times, he also makes rookie mistakes. That's normal and expected.
The problem is that fans want his minutes to go up now. Why now? Don't you want his minutes to be up when the playoffs come?
You don't have to go back very far for a story of a Bruins youngster hitting the rookie wall late in the season. Just look at what happened to Blake Wheeler in 2008-2009. He started the season off strong, and looked to be a sure thing.
He ended up getting gassed because of all the minutes he played early, and scored a grand total of seven points between February 28th and May 14th. He was actually benched for a couple games in the playoffs; he was so bad.
Granted, Blake Wheeler is no Tyler Seguin, but Seguin is also an 18-year-old kid who has never played more than 72 games in a season (including playoffs). That was last year, with his OHL team, the Plymouth Whalers.
The NHL is played at a much higher speed, and physical rate than the OHL. If Seguin were playing big minutes now, it would be almost a guarantee that there would be a big drop off in performance late in the season.
The Bruins don't want Seguin to be successful in November. They want him to be successful in April, May and June.
As difficult as it is for fans to realize, this kid is going to be a special player, but it isn't going to happen overnight. Even Taylor Hall, the first overall pick in this past year's draft, is struggling a bit with the Edmonton Oilers. He is getting more ice time than Seguin, but he's another young player who isn't necessarily lighting up the lamp right away.
Just look at Steven Stamkos, a player that Seguin has been compared to, in his rookie year. Stamkos played on Tampa Bay's third line, and a little bit on the second line. As a rookie, Stammer had the same exact points total that Seguin has at the same point: eight.
Now, Stamkos is rewriting history, and is on pace to be the first player in almost 20 years to score 50 goals in 50 games. Give it time, the minutes and the goals will come.
Seguin has shown flashes of greatness, and at times you can tell that he is the most talented player on the ice. However, coach Julien is doing the right thing by limiting Seguin's minutes early. It will keep him humble, teach him to be a better overall hockey player (unlike Phil Kessel, who was handed big minutes right away), and keep him fresh when it matters.
Also, Bruins fans needs to realize that Seguin probably doesn't deserve to be a top-nine center at this stage of his development anyways. There are too many defensive responsibilities that go with being a center that Seguin just hasn't learned yet. David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron and Gregory Campbell are all better three-zone centers than Seguin at the moment. Granted, he is more talented than all of them, but in Julien's system, the centers must be able to play in all three zones.
However, he definitely does deserve to be a top-six winger.
That will happen once Marc Savard returns, and assumes his position as the team's first line center. That will enable Seguin to move to the wing, and play more freely. That is when his minutes will start to increase. That is when Bruins fans will really see what kind of player Seguin is going to be.