BOSTON -- The Bruins have four games remaining before they have to decide whether to retain the services of rookie forward Tyler Seguin or send the 18-year-old back to juniors.
In all likelihood, the club’s top pick (No. 2 overall) from the 2010 draft will not change ZIP codes and will remain in Boston. Entering Thursday’s game against his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs, Seguin has 1 goal and 2 assists for 3 points in 6 games, including a minus-2.
“I see him improving every game,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “That’s a good sign. I can’t stand here and tell you he’s staying because it’s not my final decision to make, it’s upper management’s, and that’s why I’ve stayed away from answering that question because it’s up to them to divulge that. From a coach’s point of view, he’s improved every game. He’s an individual who catches on very quickly to what’s going on.”
Julien said he’s happy with the rookie’s progression.
"We’ll never question his skill, his speed and his ability,” said the coach. “Right now, he’s learning the game at this level -- the total package.”
A native of Brampton, Ontario, Seguin’s favorite team growing up was Toronto and he admitted it would be a little strange playing against them.
“It should be a lot of fun,” Seguin said. “It might be a little weird at first, seeing a Leaf jersey on the opposing team.
“Growing up all I did was want Toronto to win a Cup. Everyone wanted that back then. Everybody had favorite teams, [Toronto] was just my local team. Now I’m going against them.”
There’s a lot of buzz surrounding Thursday’s game because Seguin’s playing against the Maple Leafs. He’s sure to have some butterflies going in, but Julien expects the rookie to remain calm and play his game.
“I’m not going to stand here and deny the fact that this is a pretty special game for Tyler, and he’s excited about playing it,” Julien said. “At the same time, we look at Tyler as a guy we drafted in the first round, and we look at him as a highly skilled player. He’s a player we see as having a great future in this organization. For us, it’s about utilizing him the best way we can and helping him grow in that role, and putting him in the best position possible to succeed.
“His emotions are going to be running high tonight, no doubt about that. To a certain extent, if you see that becoming an issue, you’ve got to address it. He’s a pretty level-headed individual that’s been able to handle those situations pretty well so far, and I don’t see it being an issue tonight.”