At the conclusion of the NHL draft on Sunday, Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli took a not-so-veiled shot across the bow of the HMS Seguin.
Chiarelli made it crystal clear he was not satisfied with 21-year-old Tyler Seguin’s subpar season. Boston’s GM even considered trading Seguin, entertaining offers prior to the draft. No matter whether that was just a message to Seguin or if he was actually considering dealing him, Chiarelli made his point loud and clear.
"He needs to focus all his mind and energy on hockey. He needs to be a better pro," Chiarelli told reporters at the Prudential Center. "He's 21 and I expect big things from him. I wasn't satisfied with his year and he wasn't either. He's a helluva player and he'll be a helluva player. ... He's got to commit to being a professional and focusing on the game."
The second overall pick in the 2010 draft, Seguin has yet to realize his potential three years into his career. . He produced only 16 goals and 16 assists for 32 points during the regular season, and had just one goal and seven assists for eight points during the Stanley Cup playoffs.
When he was playing on the second line with center Patrice Bergeron and winger Brad Marchand, the trio was the most consistent line for the Bruins during the regular season. His speed should be a difference-maker when he’s on the ice but he hasn’t demonstrated that. More often than not, he loses the foot race while trying to avoid his opponent instead of taking a straight line to the puck.
Depending how Chiarelli fills the void left by top-line forward Nathan Horton’s decision to test the free-agent market, Seguin could get an opportunity to replace Horton on the first line. Though he would first need to prove he can play with a lot more grit than he showed this past season. Otherwise, he’ll likely return to playing with Bergeron and Marchand.
Either way, the Bruins expect a lot more from the guy to whom they gave a six-year, $34.5 million extension last September.