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His name is Tyler Seguin, and in the final rankings released by NHL Central Scouting, the 6'1" center from the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League is the best of the bunch. Does that mean he'll be selected first overall? No, not necessarily. After all, it's really considered a dead sprint to the finish between him and Windsor stand out Taylor Hall.
But it will be shocking if barring a trade, Seguin isn't a member of either the Edmonton Oilers or the Boston Bruins, who hold the number one and number two selections respectively, come Draft night in Los Angeles this June.
Seguin isn't a dangler. If you search his name on YouTube, you're not going to find shifty, end-to-end, opposition-embarrassing goals. Instead, you'll find solid positioning, excellent hockey smarts, brilliant passing and peerless vision. He's not a flashy guy, but he knows how to play the game with his head. It's his biggest asset.
photo via plymouthwhalers.com
WEIGHT: 172 lbs
BIRTHDATE: January 31, 1992
HOMETOWN: Brampton, Ontario, Canada
CSS MIDTERM RANK: 2
CSS FINAL RANK: 1
|2009/10 - Plymouth (OHL)||80||48||58||106||17||54|
"Tyler Seguin makes things happen every time he is on the ice and he makes his teammates better. He's a skilled forward. He's a guy that's obviously a top-line forward with all kinds of puck skills and playmaking abilities. ... He's an elusive guy in traffic, avoiding checks with the puck."
Seguin is considered by most to be this draft’s top playmaker. His vision on the ice is top-notch. Despite being a little undersized at 6’0, he possesses very good puck protection skills and it’s difficult for even the biggest defensemen to separate him from the puck. He doesn’t shy away from physical play either, as is the standard when playing in Mike Vellucci’s system. Seguin is considered to be more of an all-around player at this point of the season, although he lacks the same natural goal-scoring touch of Hall.
After an impressive rookie season with Plymouth a season ago, Seguin has really come out from the shadows to be a top contender for the number one pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He currently leads the OHL in points, and is only two goals back for the league lead in that department. Seguin is tremendously talented and arguably the most dangerous player in the offensive zone in this draft. He’s a very good skater and his hands, shot and creativity are all tools that will help him put up a lot of points at the NHL level. One concern for Seguin is his lack of commitment to the defensive zone, and that will be something that has to be addressed when he moves on to the next level.
... one could argue Hall has been surrounded with substantially more talent than has Seguin. While I am still of a strong opinion that Hall is the clear cut #1 overall pick, one could argue that Seguin does more with less.
Tyler Seguin possesses a dynamic skill-set and displays outstanding hockey intelligence. Tyler already plays in every situation with the OHL Plymouth Whalers. He displays a maturity on the ice well beyond his years.
Seguin has the confidence, skill, and speed of few forwards in this league and could still continue to improve, especially as a dominant two way center. He's on pace to double his goal totals from last season and is completely erasing the memories of those who claimed he was leaching off of Chris Terry and Matt Caria last season. Taking that next step from budding superstar to superstar is definitely good enough to earn him the top spot on this list.
Seguin's game has been compared to former Detroit center Steve Yzerman. According to Seguin, this is no coincidence. Steve Yzerman was Seguin's favorite player growing up and he modeled his game after him. Seguin will find himself most likely drafted higher than the 4th overall that Yzerman was drafted in 1983. Many scouts have said that Seguin has that eye for the NHL and he has the work ethic to make him an elite player.
The final word on Seguin's play comes from a Western Conference scout:
"He has the ability to make plays, to shoot, pass and find the open guy at very high speed, which is what has to be done at the NHL level. He's a very well rounded player, and is so dangerous because he can beat you with either the pass or the shot."
The only question remaining, of course, is how much value do the Edmonton Oilers see in Seguin over his biggest rival, Taylor Hall?
Stick with SB Nation as we bring you non-stop coverage of the 2010 NHL Draft, with help from our network of 35 hockey blogs.