Published June 29, 2010
BOSTON (AP) — Along with all of the success he's had in hockey, Tyler Seguin remembers the occasional failure.
After being left off the Canadian team for last year's world junior championships, Seguin gave himself two days to mope. Then he went back to work on getting better.
And when his Plymouth Whalers were eliminated from the Ontario Hockey League playoffs in the second round, it was the same thing.
"It was the worst adversity I've ever had to face in my career," Seguin said Tuesday after meeting reporters at the TD Garden four days after the Boston Bruins made him the second overall pick in the NHL draft. "I promised myself, if I ever got that opportunity again, I wouldn't let it happen again."
Seguin was deemed too young for the Canadian junior team. "All three 17-year-olds were cut on the same day," he said. He went on to lead the OHL in points, scoring 48 goals with 58 assists and earning league MVP honors.
He'll have plenty more opportunities for success — and failure — in the NHL this season. Bruins president Cam Neely said he expects Seguin to make the team this year, but the 18-year-old center said he is taking nothing for granted.
"All I want to do is learn my sport," he said. "It's one step closer to my dream. ... Playing in the NHL is my dream. Coming to the Boston Bruins is the cherry on top."
Seguin had a whirlwind week, heading to the NHL draft in Los Angeles and then to Boston to check out his future workplace and meet some of his teammates. Forward Nathan Horton, who was acquired in a trade with Florida last week, also came to Boston on Tuesday.
The two held a youth clinic in the North End, down the street from the Garden, in the afternoon, and then they headed over to Fenway Park to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Red Sox game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Seguin wore No. 19 and Horton had No. 18.
Seguin's choice of uniform number — he wanted No. 9, but it's been retired for Johnny Bucyk — drew immediate comparisons to former Bruins forward Joe Thornton. Seguin is the highest draft pick the Bruins have had since they took Thornton with the first overall pick in 1997.
Thornton had mixed success in Boston, scoring a lot of goals in years the team saw little playoff success. He was traded to the San Jose Sharks in the middle of the 2005-06 season — a year in which he totaled 125 points and won the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player.
"That's OK if you want to compare me with guys like that. I'd be thrilled," Seguin said. "But I'm not looking at it like, just because I went high in the draft I'm going to make the team."