EDMONTON - Tyler Seguin is in a unique situation.
It’s not often the second overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft gets an opportunity to play on a Stanley Cup contender in his rookie season.
But due to the Toronto Maple Leafs trading away their first-round pick in order to acquire Phil Kessel, and then subsequently finishing second-last in the standings last season, Seguin joined one of the best teams in the league.
So while the first overall pick, Taylor Hall, logs big minutes for the Edmonton Oilers, plays in all situations and is afforded the opportunity to make mistakes with his team at the bottom of the standings, Seguin has to remain patient as every game counts for the Bruins.
“I think I definitely feel blessed and am pretty lucky to be in this situation,” said Seguin following the Bruins 3-2 win over the Oilers on Sunday. “It’s a great group of guys, there are a lot of experienced guys, and I think in the end, this is definitely going to help me with the experience I’ll gain during the playoff run.
“Even though I might not be getting a lot of minutes compared to other guys, I think this is going to help me in the long run.”
Heading into the contest, Seguin had 10 goals and 11 assists in 57 games this season.
On Friday, he registered a pair of shots in just over nine and-a-half minutes of ice time, more than 10 minutes less than Hall logged for the Oilers in their first and only head-to-head meeting this season.
Seguin was looking forward to the encounter.
“Obviously you know in the back of your mind there is always going to be the Taylor, Tyler thing,” Seguin said. “Last year, it was a bit more ongoing just because of our team’s situation in junior, then going on to win the OHL scoring championship, then through the NHL Draft.
“We both finally achieved our NHL dream and we’re having fun with it.”
For the moment, it’s more about team success than individual achievement for Seguin. The Bruins do not rely on their rookie as heavily as the Oilers do on theirs, but that is expected to change in time.
‘A lot of bull’
“He’s been good,” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. “I think the comparison is a lot of bull, because they are in two different situations.
“I think if Tyler were here (in Edmonton) I think he would be getting the same ice time as Taylor is right now, but he’s in a different situation. When it comes to comparing, I always like to give guys four or five years, give them a chance to get their feet wet, put them in the right situation and see where they go. In my mind, there is no doubt both of those guys are going to be impact players in the NHL.”
Unlike Hall, who had 21 goals and 19 assists heading into the contest, Seguin is on a team with a number of talented forwards ahead of him on the depth chart.
The Bruins went into the contest near the top of the Eastern Conference and showcased their quality by outshooting the Oilers 40-17 in the victory.
Seguin plays on the Bruins’ fourth line behind the likes of Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Chris Kelly.
It’s a similar position Joe Thornton found himself in breaking into the league with the Bruins.
“I tried to keep an open mind with this year,” said Seguin. “It’s hard to make expectations for your first NHL season. I don’t think I ever would have expected that I’d be on a Stanley Cup contending team my first year. Now I have the opportunity and it’s something I want to take advantage of.”