NHL 2010 Top Draft Prospects: Tyler Seguin

So let’s see. At number one on the NHL’s scouting list, we have a light center with great leadership, incredible drive, a huge amount of talent, a powerful wrist shot, and beautiful passing abilities. Sounds a little like Joe Sakic, no?

Don’t get me wrong, Tyler Seguin is no Joe Sakic, but he may be able to have the same impact that Burnaby Joe did in his time with the Quebec/Colorado organization.

Chosen ninth overall in the 2008 OHL Priority Selection Draft, Seguin struggled early in his career with the Plymouth Whalers, going fourteen games before scoring his first goal. After that, though, he took off, scoring 67 points in 61 total games his rookie season. He responded with an incredible 2009-10 season, tying Taylor Hall for the OHL scoring lead with 105 points in 60 games, a number that includes 47 goals.

Scouts have also been extremely impressed with his maturity, at least for a 17-year-old. With tons of media requests coming in every week in Plymouth, Seguin does a great job of getting through them, getting his schoolwork done, then keeping his mind on winning games.

“It’s his overall game,” one scout says of the Tyler Seguin craze. “He’s a really good skater, has that extra gear when he needs to go there. He’s a great playmaker and this year he added scoring to that.”

Last year, Seguin’s Whalers were 20 minutes away from advancing in the OHL playoffs before Taylor Hall’s Spitfires knocked them out, en route to the 2009 Memorial Cup. Seguin desperately wants revenge so he can have a championship of his own. Not having been a part of a World Junior Championship team, Seguin needs to win. Unfortunately for Seguin, though, his Whalers once again came up short against the Spitfires in the 2010 OHL playoffs, losing in the first round.

Something that the scouts do not like is Seguin’s defensive ability. He is small, for NHL standards, at 186 pounds, and his plus-17 rating insinuates that he was on the ice for many goals against this season. He also does not get much ice time on the penalty kill.

However, that is not to take away from any of Tyler Seguin’s other positive characteristics. Through numerous YouTube and scouting videos, one can easily see why Seguin is battling Hall for the top spot in the 2010 draft. He sees the ice very well, has great hands, and simply has a knack for getting the puck in the net, whether it’s by dishing the puck or by taking matters into his own hands.

The Brampton, Ontario native is 20th on the Whalers’ all-time regular season points list with 172, and is explosive when necessary; he has twice scored five points in one game, and has had five career hat tricks in just two OHL seasons.

Seguin, though arguably not as talented or as coveted as Hall, will still be a consolation prize of epic proportions if he does not go first overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Alan Bass is a writer for The Hockey News and THN.com. In addition to writing for Inside Hockey and Pro Hockey News , he has also worked for the Philadelphia Flyers. He is the general manager of the Muhlenberg College hockey team as well. You can contact him at BergHockey24@gmail.com .

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