Taylor Hall vs Tyler Seguin: Three Years Later

Did the Oilers make the Right Choice in selecting Taylor Hall?

In the summer of 2010, the Edmonton Oilers held the first overall pick in the NHL draft, and were set to chose a building block for their future going forward. There wasn’t a runaway number one prospect, and scouts felt two players were both worthy to be selected first. The parity at the top spawned the marketing campaign of Taylor vs. Tyler in the weeks leading up to the draft. The Oilers didn’t tip their hand at who they were leaning towards and thus the debate wore on.

Taylor Hall

Taylor Hall is one of many first-round picks on the Oilers’ roster (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

In the 2009-10 OHL season, Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin finished tied in league scoring with 106 points each. Hall did it in fewer games, missing time while playing for Canada in the World Junior Hockey Championships. Seguin conversely didn’t make the final cut for Canada. Hall had more assists that year, well Seguin had the edge in goals. Hall led his Windsor Spitfires to a Memorial Cup championship in 2010, in fact it was the second consecutive year his team won. That caused him to take a slight edge over Seguin in the final central scouting rankings, though it still wasn’t a lock.

The Oilers ultimately decided to go with Taylor Hall with the first overall choice. In an interesting twist of fate, the Boston Bruins held the second overall pick thanks to a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and chose Seguin at number two. The Bruins went on to win the Stanley Cup the following season.

Now Seguin obviously was the luckiest prospect in the world. He won the Cup as a rookie, leading some to believe that perhaps the Oilers should have chosen him instead. (Edmonton finished dead last in the league that year). But make no mistake: Seguin had very little to do with the Bruins championship. This is not a slight on Tyler at all. He’s a very talented player. But he had three goals and seven points in 13 playoff games en route to his first Stanley Cup. He was a healthy scratch for much of the postseason and got into the line-up thanks to injury. There’s a pretty good chance the Bruins would have won the Cup with Taylor Hall on their roster, or even with neither of them.

This season, as Hall watches the playoffs from his sofa, again not having tasted the NHL postseason, Tyler Seguin’s team is three wins away from their second championship in three years. Seguin, at least so far, as been a non-factor for the Bruins. He has just one goal so far this postseason, though his assist on Boston’s winning goal in game two is hopefully a sign that his drought is coming to an end. But despite a high level of skill, Seguin once again has little to do with his team’s success.

Now it’s still really early to judge with player will be better. They’re so young. But imagine the Oilers with Seguin instead of Hall. Would/could he have been the team’s leading scorer? Hall scored 16 goals and 50 points in 45 games in this lock-out shortened season. Seguin had a breakout season last year, leading the Bruins in scoring with 29 goals and 67 points. This past year he had the same amount of goals as Hall with 16, but less points with 32 while playing all 48 games.

Tyler Seguin of the Boston Bruins (Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE)

Tyler Seguin of the Boston Bruins (Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE)

Their career stats are close. But at the moment Hall’s are better. He has 145 points in 171 NHL games, while Seguin has 121 in 203 games played. Seguin has been more durable while Hall has suffered some injury trouble. Seguin isn’t the best player on is team. He plays with the likes of Milan Lucic, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara and David Krejci. Conversely, Hall is probably his team’s best player. Would he be if he was a member of the Bruins? What would happen if he were playing with a centerman like Bergeron?

It’s hard to suggest one player is better than the other, but at this point, it looks like Taylor Hall may be it. Seguin has got the skill, and last year he looked like he was becoming a franchise player, but arguably Hall already is one. At the end of their careers, Seguin could wind up with better stats and more awards. He has the goods to be the better player if he had more consistency. But at least for now, three years later, and Stanley Cup luck aside, the Oilers made the right choice for their team and their current situation. It’s Taylor.

Marcy Di Michele

Marcy Di Michele

A hockey player, and huge sports fan, Marcy has worked as a Sports Journalist for the esteemed online magazine Suite 101 in addition to being a Writer and Editor at the Hockey Writers. She also writes for the hockey news site Two Pad Stack.
Marcy Di Michele
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7 Comments

  1. I would take Tyler Seguin over Taylor Hall all day every day. It’s all about the intangibles.

    What can Taylor Hall do — He can skate fast, he has alright hands and alright dangles, I’ve never seen him shape shift the puck and make a defender look like a fool though, he’s just an all around solid player, although he doesnt really or can’t hit. He also has an average shot, but that doesn’t mean he can’t score, because he’s very good at that (in comparison, Yakupov’s shot is a lot better, and everyone will see that this year when they get the same amount of ice time). Hall also has no slap shot and no one timer that any man can say he has, or has seen he has.

    Ok now what can Tyler Seguin do (as a centerman) — first of all I would take a star center over a wing any day, if they are of similar skill level, and this is the case — sort of. Tyler Seguin can skate fast, and in all honesty I think he has a way quicker first few steps than Hall, Hall has the long stride skating style, but he needs time to generate speed, while Seguin is at top speed in an instant. His hands are also so much more pure, in terms of being a skilled player. Hall doesn’t have that quick stick handling like even a Yakupov does, let alone Seguin. Now let me talk about what Seguin can do on the powerplay, oh boy. This guy has a wicked one timer that he will be unleashing at will with Dallas all day for sure. Seguin can play any type of powerplay, an overload, an Umbrella etc. While Hall can not play an Umbrella set — because again, his shot just isnt there, he only has a wrister and that’s unacceptable if you are trying to be the best player or even a skilled player.

    All in all Tyler Seguin is the better man by far, I don’t care about stats at all, and people are all trying to say how oh Seguin had a good team, but that team isn’t and wasn’t full of scorers, they are all two way players and grinders on Boston, Seguin was mainly the only pure offensive guy, with Krejci on the team, and he wasn’t getting top line minutes like Hall. To compare that with Hall’s team, well it doesn’t matter that his team was bad, because he’s always on the ice with good players, that just means the Oilers aren’t deep, other than their top line. And when you’re playing on the first line and on the ice all of the time, you are going to get points no matter how bad you are. If you are better than you will get more. In comparison look at Semins stat line now that he is on the top line at all times — it reads like he’s a superstar, which he is. And he will show that this season, just like Seguin who will be playing top line minutes on a top line, and with all the confidence in the world because he is the man and will be for a while.

    So Seguin is by far better than Hall. Doesn’t matter about stats, doesn’t matter about ice time, doesn’t matter about consistency (because that all depends on confidence, if your coach blasts you for one mistake you make, like Seguin’s situation in Boston was like, you’re not going to play well — just like what Grabovski said about Randy Carlyle). It all depends on how the player plays and what he can do, and will do in the right situation. Watch Yakupov become the best player for the Oilers this season.

    And again Seguin > Hall.

  2. Kyle Koller says:

    I would say Taylor is the better player, as of now. I just don’t see Tyler attack the defense and just dominate physically like Taylor can. When Taylor has the puck in the neutral zone, it is beautiful watching him attack the defense. He has all the tools to be the best player in the league, and I don’t see those in Tyler. So good pick Oilers!

  3. Richie Nelson says:

    Come on guys U cant make comparisons like that. You forget that Hall has been the guy for the Oilers to build on while Seguin joined an Elite team and is a complementary player for his first few years. He still managed to be the top scorer for one of the best teams while Hall scored for a bottom feeder. It is unfair to compare their careers when they have had completely diffrent conditions. Hall have had the opportunity to run around scoring and building chemistry whilst Seguin’s been all about winning and adapting to the teams needs. Hall IS, more like the team for the other Oilers to adapt to.

    • Richie Nelson says:

      …and ofcourse their roles would be exactly reversed if they switched teams. Seguin being the building block and Hall the complementary player battling for ice time. Perhaps the Oilers kid line would look like Landeskog-Seguin-Eberle instead if they’d choosen a C instead of Hall.

  4. Thank you for acknowledging the obvious that some writers and biased fans can’t seem to grasp. And as you say, this is absolutely not a slight on Tyler – he is a fine player, and has some serious skills. But the other point you should make is that Tyler has yet to play any stretch in the position he was drafted (e.g. center), which was actually one of the knocks against Taylor (e.g. not a center). In fact, Seguin consistently plays with Bergeron who is arguably top 3 two-way centerman in the game, as well as a feisty and skilled Marchand. Taylor has good linemates in RNH and Eberle, but it would be a stretch to say that he has it as easy as Seguin. Hall drives that line, whereas Seguin can go along for the ride if he pleases. Even now, he is playing wing for Chris Kelly. I would also make a final point that while the points are close, 0.85 ppg vs 0.6 ppg is nowhere near close. This season, those were the equivalents of Joe Thornton and Frans Nielsen, respectively.

  5. I was an original supporter of Seguin going first overall. Now however there is one huge difference. Seguin is still and average (almost below average from time to time) player while Hall is a great player whose explosiveness makes up for his shortfalls. It doesn’t matter what team in the NHL Taylor Hall would be in the top 6 while Seguin is bottom 6. I also find it very difficult to believe he wouldn’t be in the top 3 on almost all teams. When healthy he literaly takes over games even against the rest of the leagues superstars. Hall although lacking some polish and finish is a rare find.

  6. Pingback: Spectors Hockey | NHL Postseason Blog Beat – June 18, 2013.

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