First there was the debate: Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin.
And there was more debate: Seguin should play more or Seguin shouldn’t play at all.
While the Bruins didn’t have to make a decision in the first debate — Edmonton’s selection of Hall first overall at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft left Seguin for Boston — the Bruins found an answer somewhere in the middle of the second discussion.
Seguin got less playing time over the course of the season, but he did what he could with what he was given. As a 19-year-old rookie, he said all the right things in public and worked hard in practice. When the time came to make an impact on the sport’s biggest stage, he took advantage of his first taste of the playoffs.
While other ’10 first-round picks around the league put up better numbers, and Seguin wasn’t even the most productive rookie on his own team with Brad Marchand around, the chance to live and learn around NHLers during a run to the Stanley Cup championship had to be a boost to his development.
At the very least, he got to be part of one of the biggest celebrations in sports history.
Regular season: 74 GP, 11-11-22, minus-4
Playoffs: 13 GP, 3-4-7, plus-5
Contract status: Signed through 2012-13 at a $3.55 million cap hit (including bonuses)
Best regular-season moment: The start of one of the most famous Garden chants ever came Oct. 28 with Toronto in the house. Seguin scored his first home-ice goal in the Bruins’ 2-0 victory, which featured the crowd’s taunting of the Maple Leafs’ organization with screams of “Thank You Kessel.” After that game, the Bruins informed Seguin he would stay with them beyond the nine-game tryout period for junior-eligible players.
Best playoff moment: There weren’t too many to pick from considering Seguin was a healthy scratch for the first 11 games of the postseason. But when he stepped in for an injured Patrice Bergeron against Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference Final, Seguin notched a goal in Game 1 as an appetizer. The main course came two nights later in Game 2, as he scored twice and added two assists (he was plus-3). Even though Seguin didn’t score another goal the rest of the playoffs, he had left his mark on Boston’s remarkable run.
Worst moment: In a sign of how scant his minutes would be over the course of the season, Seguin logged just 6:30 of ice time in a loss at Atlanta Dec. 30. Asked to come off the bench cold in the shootout, Seguin missed his attempt.
Regular-season grade: B-minus
Playoffs grade: B. He managed to pick up his defensive game even though he stopped scoring after Game 2 against Tampa.
Carnac predicts … Seguin will earn a spot in Boston’s top six next season and become productive even if he doesn’t reach superstar status just yet.