Looking back to July 2010 and a fantasy rivalry that was beginning in earnest: Taylor vs Tyler
It’s always fun to look at some of the league’s most significant player rivalries. In some cases it’s a quam born out of some classic playoff matchup (Iginla v. Lecavalier anyone? I still get goose bumps), or from being the NHL foremost stars (Ovechkin and Crosby) and then there are the comparisons we’re treated to annually via the entry draft.
I’m sure that guys rarely harbor any dislike of one another, but you can bet that all elite talent will be pitted against their fellow draft mates year after year. Most recently there was the Duchene, Hedman, and Tavares discussion (one that really shouldn’t have been that close in hindsight), or the 2003 draft (although this one had about 15 strong fantasy plays).
Today, however, I want to look back to July 2010 and the world of endless “T” alliterations that we were all living in – Taylor versus Tyler.
The biggest question in the media was who Edmonton would select first – the bull of a winger with one of the most powerful skating strides of any prospect, or the talented, two way centerman to anchor their forward group. They of course opted the former and Seguin ended up in Boston, where he promptly won a cup (and then was summarily declared to have a personality unfit for a winning culture – yes, note the juxtaposition here) and eventually wound up in Dallas.
While there was the debate in Edmonton over who to select, there was a parallel discussion in the hockey pool world – who would be the superior fantasy asset? At the time I was firmly entrenched in the Hall camp. My rationale was that he would develop into a consistent 80 point, 300 shot player. Mix in the odd penalty and body check and he would have the ability to be a top 10 option. Conversely, I saw Seguin having a potentially higher points ceiling (only slightly), but lacking the shot volume to be a truly elite fantasy player.
Looking back to Dobber’s prospect rankings in 2010 it’s interesting to see that he has Hall ranked just above Seguin at number one (we’ll give him a break on Filatov at four, mainly because I was guilty of drafting him far too early on many occasions).
Flashing forward four years a number of things have changed. Hall has had some difficulty staying healthy for a full campaign (although in fairness he did play 45 of 48 during the lockout) and Edmonton’s team struggles have been reflected in his plus minus (minus 11 this year). For Seguin, landing in Dallas may actually be a positive for his fantasy stock. He’ll now be the focal point of an offence (unlike Boston) and is part of what could be a dominant first line for many years playing with Jamie Benn and Valeri Nichushkin (don’t enter tangent on Nichushkin’s awesomeness, don’t enter tangent on Nichushkin’s awesomeness, don’t…)
While I still have Hall as the more valuable player (for me in standard leagues he is sixth behind the grouping of Ovheckin, Crosby, Stamkos, Malkin and Tavares), Seguin’s stock has increased considerably. This season he’s shooting more (265 shot pace) and looks capable of challenging 40 goals at some point. The development of Benn and Nichushkin (and the complementary players Dallas adds to the mix) will be important in determining how high his production can reach.
If you’re yet to weigh in on this debate don’t worry, their combined age (44) is just barely older than Teemu Selanne – needless to say this one will go on for a while. Much like July of 2010 there isn’t a correct answer to this one just yet and I’m sure I’ll be revisiting it in the not too distant future.
Darren is a fantasy hockey writer for Dobber Hockey. You can follow him @FantasyHockeyDK
Also check out Looking Back...at February, 2003 Top Players