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The Boston Bruins had to settle for being runner-up at Tuesday's NHL draft lottery, but they still should come away from the June 25-26 draft with a nice prize.
The Bruins, who had an 18.8 percent chance at the top pick and a 60.8 chance at getting a pick in the top two, landed the No. 2 pick, which means they'll get their shot at one of the top top prospects in hockey: Tyler Seguin or Taylor Hall. Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli was on hand in Toronto for the announcement and said afterward he's undecided about which player he would select if he had the choice. The Edmonton Oilers will have the first pick, but Chiarelli said he's excited about having either Hall or Seguin.
Chiarelli told ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun that he would be "very, very content" with either one. "I would be very excited to get either of these players," Chiarelli said.
|Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said he thinks both of the top prospects in June's draft, Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall, will be able to play in the NHL next season.|
The GM added that he plans on keeping the pick and in all likelihood won't trade it.
Both Hall and Seguin are projected as impact players and Chiarelli believes both will be able to play in the NHL next season.
In anticipation of the draft, Chiarelli will watch and interview both Hall and Sequin during the NHL' s scouting combine at the end of May in Toronto. After the combine, the Bruins will hold their scouting meetings and plot their course for the draft.
Seguin, 18, played for the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League and can play all three forward positions. The 6-foot-1, 172-pounder is a right-handed shot and has an excellent wrist shot with terrific release, according to Chiarelli, who added Seguin has dynamic speed and play-making ability.
Seguin had 48 goals and 58 assists in 63 regular-season games for the Whalers. He added five goals and five assists in nine playoff games.
Chiarelli compared Seguin's ability to that of Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos, who was picked No. 1 by the Lightning in 2008, and of Hall of Famer Pat LaFontaine.
"I understand that's pretty lofty company, but he's a terrific young offensive player," said the GM. "He's a natural center, but he's fast enough and skilled enough to play both sides."
Hall, 18, plays for the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL and is a prototypical power forward, according to Chiarelli. Hall is a left shot with a good one-timer and can play both wings. "He really likes to drive to the net," said Chiarelli. "He protects the puck well and cycles well."
Hall, 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, recorded 40 goals and 66 assists with 56 penalty minutes in 57 games this season.
Seguin is quicker and Hall is bigger, but both are tremendous skaters, according to Chiarelli. Hall wears No. 4 for his junior team in honor of Bobby Orr.
"That would be a longtime dream," Seguin said of the possibility of being drafted by the Bruins during the lottery broadcast on Versus. "I think they are a great organization, but there are a lot of storied organizations in the top five so I'll be happy to go anywhere."
Seguin vs. Hall. Taylor vs. Tyler. It's been the rage in the hockey world, and come June only one can go first. Whoever doesn't figures to be headed to Boston.
"It would definitely be a huge accomplishment," said Seguin. "I would be so proud and so thrilled, but in the end I just want to go to the team that wants me the most."
The Bruins acquired the Maple Leafs' first-round picks in 2010 and 2011, along with a 2010 second-rounder in exchange for forward Phil Kessel last September, making the deal after determining they'd be unable to sign Kessel long term. Toronto finished with the second-worst record in the NHL, behind the Oilers, guaranteeing the Bruins no worse than the third pick.
The Bruins, who lacked scoring punch this season, saw Kessel notch 30 goals and 25 assists in 70 games for Toronto.
"This has been an emotional trade for both parties," said Chiarelli. "People in Toronto have seen Phil and he's a very good young player. Going into making this trade, you try to project where teams will finish and we made a projection and it wasn't this high, but we're going to get a very good player out of it, as did Toronto. The deal was emotional for a variety of reasons. There's a lot of thought that goes into it from both sides, and we feel we got good consideration for it in light of the player we gave up."
Sequin or Hall? The way Chiarelli tells it, you can't go wrong with either.
"These two players are very exciting in their own way," said Chiarelli. "I leave the rink after watching these two players and I'm really excited for both of them."
Joe McDonald covers the Bruins and Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.