TORONTO — Tyler Seguin (at right in photo) and Taylor Hall, the prospects ranked one-two by the Central Scouting Bureau, have concluded their testing at the NHL combine. Seguin participated in all components, including the 30-second Wingate test, which had many of the youngsters getting sick afterward. Many of the scouts and hockey operations personnel were impressed with Seguin’s performance, which included 14 reps on the bench press (150 pounds).
Hall, who suffered back and knee injuries during the Memorial Cup, didn’t go through most of the vigorous tests.
“Bumps and bruises from the Memorial Cup,” said E.J. McGuire, director of Central Scouting. “A little soreness here, a little soreness there. But nothing that would throw up any red flags regarding anything long-term or anything like that. That’s part of the unfairness of the combine. Some guys are battling for a national championship the Sunday before. Some other guys have been training for the combine events.”
Both Seguin and Hall interviewed with the Bruins this week. Peter Chiarelli, Jim Benning, and Don Sweeney visited Seguin’s home in Brampton. They are planning a similar visit to Hall’s house in Kingston, Ontario, in the coming weeks.
“It was good,” Chiarelli said of the meeting at the Seguin home. “We sat for a couple hours at the kitchen table with the parents, the dogs, and the daughters. It was good. It was important for us. We’ll do the same with Taylor. We’re doing that in a couple weeks, going up to Kingston. It’s just important to see them. [The combine] is a good environment to assess. But to see them out of that environment and to see them in their household environment — kids are nervous here. They’re coached. It was a good meeting.”
Chiarelli said he’s spoken casually with Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini regarding a trade to move up. But Chiarelli made it sound as if a trade were highly unlikely. Instead, the Bruins will select the forward that the Oilers don’t take. They will mull over the decision over the weekend in Ottawa, where they will hold amateur meetings.
“We’re really close,” Chiarelli said of the organization’s split between Seguin and Hall. “We’re really, really close. It may change this coming three days when we have our amateur meetings. When you get to that point, maybe it’s on need. Maybe you switch over to need. I’m not saying we’re going to do that. Both kids said they would play any position. I’ve seen Tyler play the wing. A lot has been written and said that it’s more natural for Taylor to come to us because he’s a winger, and Tyler to go to Edmonton because he’s a centerman. Tell you what, half the time I’ve seen Tyler, he’s been on the wing. The way he can shoot it, he can play wing and, frankly, it might be a good way for him to enter the NHL. Taylor told us he’s played center and loves playing center.”