Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Seguin wants to take after Yzerman
By James Murphy, special to ESPNBoston.com
WILMINGTON, Mass. -- When Tyler Seguin was presented with the chance to choose the number he will wear with the Bruins, he immediately chose the digits his idol, Hall of Famer and current Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman wore during his legendary career with the Detroit Red Wings. Many have compared Seguin’s game to that of Stevie Y. The 18 year-old Seguin, who was selected by the Bruins with the second overall pick at the 2010 NHL draft, is trying to approach the NHL the same way Yzerman did when he cracked the Red Wings lineup as a rookie in the 1983-84 season.
“When he came into the NHL, he was fourth overall and he was a good player and had lots of skill,” Seguin said of Yzerman. “But really being a centerman, he had to stop cheating offensively, support his wingers and grow and mature. These last two seasons in the OHL, I’ve tried to do that. I thought he was a great leader on the ice but also a professional off the ice as well. He was a true legend and leader of the game and I admire him for that.”
Just as Yzerman was, Seguin seems more concerned about improving as a player than becoming an instant star. When asked at the Bruins development camp Tuesday whether he, his agent Ian Pulver and the Bruins were closing in on a new contract, Seguin didn’t seem too fazed even a day after the player that was drafted a pick ahead of him at No. 1, Taylor Hall, signed his entry level deal with the Oilers.
“I’m not expecting anything,” Seguin said when asked when his when his contract might be signed. “I saw Hall got signed yesterday but we’re in two different positions. He’s in Edmonton and I am in Boston here, where they have almost already a Stanley Cup contending team and [Edmonton is] rebuilding. So, I could get signed soon or I could get signed in two years. Really, I’m just coming in here trying to prove a point and earn a spot.”
Seguin has come into this camp with an open mind and is intent on proving he deserves a shot to crack the Bruins roster in the fall.
“My philosophy all year has been to do my own thing and stay focused,” he said. “My expectations for myself are that I am going to get an opportunity this summer and right now with the camps coming up. So I’m going to work my hardest right now and hopefully earn a spot on this club this year.
“I was expecting anything and coming in here I wanted to be prepared as I could. I’ve been doing a lot of off-ice preparation for this camp and training camp later, so I’m just coming in here going my hardest.”
While everyone in the hockey world believes it’s a certainty Seguin will be on the Bruins roster when they open the 2010-11 season in Prague this October, the former Plymouth Whalers star who had 106 points this past season isn’t taking anything for granted.
“My goal is to come into these camps, make an impression, work my hardest, earn a spot, and be an impact player my rookie year,” Seguin said. “Obviously if that doesn’t work out, I’ll be disappointed but it’s just adversity and I have to face it head on and go out there and keep improving in the OHL.
Seguin also stressed again that he is willing to play wherever necessary for head coach Claude Julien, who has a roster deep at the center position.
“I don’t care where I play, I’m just here to play my hardest and make the team,” he said. “I’m just really excited to finally be here and get things going.”
James Murphy has covered the Bruins and the NHL for the last eight seasons. He has written for NHL.com, NESN.com, Insidehockey.com and Le Hockey Magazine. Murphy also authors a blog, Drop Puck Murphy.