Lottery Night

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8 p.m. this evening may be the most important moment of the 2009-10 NHL Season for the Boston Bruins. That’s when they will find out where they will pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Currently, they hold Toronto’s 1st round pick, courtesy of the Phil Kessel trade, and have a 60.8 % chance of picking 1st or 2nd thanks to the Leafs finishing with the second worst record in the league.

This is monumentally significant because the two highest rated players in the draft, Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall, are universally considered to have superstar potential and project to be able to step right into an NHL uniform next year and make an immediate impact, a la Steven Stamkos.

It’s is the kind of draft that can alter a team’s future forever. A make or break moment.

Now, the worst case scenario would be if a team behind them wins the Lottery and the B’s fall back to the 3rd pick. An excellent player could be selected there but likely someone a notch below Tyler and Taylor, someone who might need more seasoning in Junior or, deep breaths, even a defenseman. In many Bruins fan’s eyes, this would be an epic tragedy considering the dearth of scoring the B’s experienced this season and their desperate need for Superstar Talent at forward.

With that in mind, here’s some scouting on the three highest rated forwards of the 2010 draft class.

tyler seguin

Tyler Seguin

    1. Tyler SeguinCenter – 18 years old, 6′-1″ 186 lbs, Shoots: R, Born: 1/31/92 in Brampton, Ontario. Career totals with the Plymouth Whalers (OHL): 124 games, 69 goals, 104 assists, 173 points, +31, 82 pims. Playoffs: 26 points in 16 games.

    Compared to Steve Yzerman, Seguin is a natural center who appears to have it all, speed, playmaking and goalscoring ability. His improvement from 2008-09 to this season has been marked, vaulting him over Hall in the eyes of many scouts to the No. 1 position, It seems very likely the Edmonton Oilers, should they retain the No. 1 overall, would want Seguin to anchor them at the pivot postion for the forseeable future.

taylor hall

Taylor Hall

    2. Taylor Hall – Left Wing – 18 years old, 6′ 1″ 185 lbs, Shoots: L, Born: 11/14/91 in Kingston, Ontario. Career totals with the Windsor Spitfires (OHL): 183 games, 123 goals, 157 assists, 280 points, +115, 138 pims. Playoff totals: 57 points in 33 games.

    If those numbers aren’t impressive enough, consider current scout’s comparison’s to the Devil’s Zach Parise and you’ll have an idea of the talent level we’re talking about in Hall. Scoring, playmaking, impact player who is, reportedly, slightly more physically ready to jump right into the NHL than Seguin thanks to the extra year of Junior he’s played. The Boston Bruins are salivating over this guy, trust me. Not that they wouldn’t want Seguin but, if things fall in line and they retain the No. 2 pick, I think they would be perfectly happy with this young man skating the wing next to David Krejci for the next 10 years.

brett connolly

Brett Connolly

    3. Brett Connolly – Right Wing – 17 years old, 6′ 2″ 181 lbs, Shoots: R, Born: 5/2/92 in Prince George, British Columbia. Career totals with the Prince George Cougars (WHL): 85 games, 40 goals, 39 assists, 79 points, 46 pims. Playoff totals: 2 points in 4 games.

    Needless to say, there is considered to be a substantial drop off in talent and much higher risk when drafting below the 1st and 2nd spots in this draft and Brett Connolly is Exhibit A. Hampered much of the entire 2009-10 season by a serious hip injury, there is thus much less to drawn on in terms of evidence to support his ranking at number three. A Central Scouting comparison to Peter Forsberg seems a stretch unless they were seeking someone injury prone. There simply doesn’t seem to be enough right now to suggest Connolly could match that level of world class talent.

So you see how much is resting on the Bruins not falling to that 3rd pick in the draft where they would be forced to gamble on a guy like Connolly or, perhaps, look to a European forward or one of the highly rated defensemen in the draft like Cam Fowler or Erik Gudbranson.

All of Bruins Nation is hoping it doesn’t come to that.

And it won’t. The order of the Draft remains intact as Edmonton retains the no. 1 overall pick and the Bruins will select 2nd.

Whew.

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