BOSTON — The NHL education of Tyler Seguin, on the ice, began today at TD Garden with the first practice sessions of training camp 2010.
The No. 2 overall pick skated in the second group of players, centering a line with AHLer Jeff Lovecchio and future Hall of Famer Mark Recchi.
The 18-year-old Seguin impressed Recchi, 42, throughout today’s drills.
“He’s damn fast. I had to keep up with him so it’s good; it’s good for me,” said Recchi, who earlier in his career also was teammates with NHL stars Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos when they were rookies. “He could be my son, so … it’s good, I have to keep up with him. He’s a good skater and it looks like he has great skills. I’m going to have some fun with him and work with him and it looks like he really wants to learn. He’s asking coaches questions, and that’s great. If there’s anything I see I’ll help.”
Seguin was at center, as expected, because of the continued absence of Marc Savard due to post-concussion symptoms. At the outset of camp, head coach Claude Julien talked about the added responsibility the rookie will have to take on. This morning Julien and his staff addressed one issue that already stood out in terms of Seguin’s style of play.
“The one thing that I think I noticed in the games, and we talked about it with him this morning in practice, is that as a centerman you’ve got to be a little bit more patient in your own end,” said Julien. “When he played those [rookie] games he was really wanting to produce offensively, and sometimes he was a little quick leaving the zone. It’s just explaining to him why. First of all, you become a better outlet. Second of all, when you come down low and you help out and you get the puck, you have time to lift your head up and see what’s in front of you. If you’re too far ahead, in this league here, by the time you get the puck you’re going to have somebody right in your face. So it’s maybe explaining a little bit the thinking behind and the understanding of it. Players like him catch on pretty quick.”
Here are Seguin’s complete comments after his first day on the ice with the NHL squad: