WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Boston Bruins rookie Tyler Seguin was following the NHL Draft Lottery on Tuesday night with interest. His curiosity wasn’t as intense as it was a year ago, but it gave him an opportunity to reflect on his rookie season in the NHL.
For the second consecutive year, the Edmonton Oilers will have the top pick in the draft. Last June, the Oilers had the choice to pick either Seguin or Taylor Hall, and decided on the latter. That meant Seguin became a Bruin as Boston selected him as the second overall pick.
Both Hall and Seguin participated in NHL’s live viewing of the lottery last year, and now the Bruins' rookie forward can’t believe it’s been one year.
"It still feels really weird,” said Seguin, following the Bruins’ practice Wednesday morning at Ristuccia Arena. "Last year Hall and I went on that show, talking as guest speakers. Now, I’m sitting here, waiting for my team to go to the playoffs. It’s kind of different.”
After the lottery last season, the Oilers and the Bruins hosted both prospects. Seguin and Hall visited with Edmonton before landing in Boston after an overnight flight. The Oilers did not put either prospect through a physical test, but the Bruins did.
“I was like, ‘Oh, I guess Boston is serious about their hockey.’ That was my first impression in Boston. I loved it right away,” Seguin said.
He made the team out of training camp and remained in the lineup for the remainder of the 2010-2011 season. He played a total of 74 games and posted 11 goals and 11 assists for 22 points. He also had a minus-4 rating.
Seguin faced the type of adversity he’s never dealt with before. After all, he was a scoring machine in juniors and having above-average offensive abilities came naturally. It was quite different for him in the NHL.
“A lot of ups and downs,” he said. “Obviously, I’m a pure production person, I look at statistics and this year I didn’t have anything that was outstanding. It was kind of par, average, just OK, I guess. I want to improve on that, but I do know it was my first year. There are a lot of excuses out there why it was like that, but I just have to move on and take it day by day.”
Seguin said he knew his rookie season would be a challenge and believes the lessons he learned will help him prepare for a more productive sophomore season.
“You have that mindset, but it’s hard to put any expectations on what it’s going to be like,” he said of his first season. “You’re going in blind and that’s why I’m excited for this summer. Once everything hopefully ends well with hockey, I’ll have the summer to not be blind. I know what I need to work on, both on and off the ice, and it feels a lot more comfortable.”
The Bruins will face the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, beginning Thursday at TD Garden. It’s likely the 19-year-old Seguin will be healthy scratch for Game 1 and possibly beyond that. Either way, the experience of being in this atmosphere will help his development, said Bruins coach Claude Julien.
“Like everything else, it’s a chance for him to grow no matter what happens, how much he plays or how little he plays,” said Julien. “There’s always something to be learned being around, and being a part of a team in the playoffs.”
Seguin said he understands the situation.
“It’s a new season. It’s playoffs,” he said. “I’ll close the book on [the regular season] and focus on this.”