Sat Feb 12 03:57pm EST
Second overall pick Tyler Seguin's trials and tribulations with the Boston Bruins — back-to-back 'healthies' this week — are more of a NHL story than an Ontario Hockey League one.
At first glance, it seemed like post-hoc kneejerking to say this was proof Seguin would have been best off to return to major junior hockey.
Tom Wakefield of Canucks Hockey Blog, though, contrasted Seguin's stumbling start against that of another former No. 2 pick from the OHL, current Anaheim Ducks standout Bobby Ryan, who did bide time back in junior (and had an AHL apprenticeship in his age-20 season to boot).
Today, Bobby Ryan is a core member of the Ducks, on his way to his third-straight 30-goal season. The Ducks took their time with his development, and along the way Ryan learned what it took to compete and succeed at the game’s highest level.
Looking at how Tyler Seguin’s rookie season has gone (8 goals, 9 assists, 12:18 minutes a game. frequent healthy scratch), one can’t help but wonder if the Boston Bruins should have been more patient with him.
Instead of dominating junior hockey and being the go-to guy on his junior team (and most likely a leader on Team Canada at the World Juniors this past winter), Seguin’s an afterthought in the Bruin lineup.
Time will tell if his development has been truly stunted. (Canucks Hockey Blog)
There are a couple ways to take this, one being that Seguin is nowhere near close to developing, so anyone throwing the B-word (bust) around doesn't realize this is the NHL and not the NFL. He is only 19 years old. (Does that need to be pointed out?)
The second is to ponder what effect this will have with potential No. 1 pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, whose many virtues do not yet include NHL size. The trend of NHL teams fast-tracking high picks probably isn't abating, but here is one cautionary tale. It isn't a disaster if the top pick returns to a well-regarded junior team for another year and also defers the start of his so-called arbitration and free-agency clocks.
Meantime, for Seguin's former OHL team, it's probably psychological masochism for the Whalers to end wonder how they would be if he had returned. Plymouth (.604 point percentage, fifth-best in its conference) would probably lead its division instead of being six points back of rival Saginaw. However, the lot of junior teams is they can't indulge any such woe-is-us — especially in the case of the Whalers, since fellow rivals Kitchener (Jeremy Morin and Jeff Skinner) and Windsor (Cam Fowler and No. 1 pick Taylor Hall) each had two players turn pro as teens.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.