WILMINGTON, Mass. — Now it’s time to at least somewhat live up to the billing as the No. 2 overall pick.
General manager Peter Chiarelli said it’s a safe assumption that if Patrice Bergeron misses any games with his mild concussion, rookie Tyler Seguin would be the next player into the lineup.
Chiarelli said that his staff and the coaches are still discussing where to plug in Seguin — whether he should play center or wing, and on what line. But that he feels Seguin is ready to contribute when called upon.
But depending on when the Eastern Conference finals series with Tampa Bay opens, Seguin could get the nod.
“He’s actually really put his nose to the grindstone in practice and I think watching from above he sees the intensity and the tenacity of the game,” said Chiarelli. “Plus he’s going to give us an offensive boost as well.”
Seguin scored just one goal over the last 20 games he played and finished the season with 11-11-22 totals in 74 regular-season games. He was also a healthy scratch four times in the regular season’s final few months before he sat out the first 11 postseason games. Chiarelli said the time in the press box has done Seguin well.
“He pays close attention to the game, to the plays within the game, as they would impact him if he were playing,” said the GM, who took Seguin after No. 1 pick Taylor Hall at last year’s draft. “So I mean he’s using it as a good tool. … There’s a tendency subconsciously or consciously to kind of lay off your work ethic when you know you’re not going to play. And I’ve been watching him in practice, and his on-ice and his off-ice have been outstanding. He’s kept sharp. Having said all that, it’s hard to parachute someone in, especially a young player like that. So we’ll see how he does. But he certainly deserves a chance.”
Chiarelli said Boston’s other options for a replacement forward are rookies Jordan Caron and Jamie Arniel, who both played briefly for Boston in the regular season but spent most of the year with the Providence (AHL) farm club. Both have been practicing with the team.