A new team, a new logo, a new jersey, a new city, and a fresh start for one of hockey's brightest young stars.
Seguin isn't available in your keeper league, I know. So how can he be considered a sleeper? Let's talk a little bit about expectations. Where do you peg Seguin's production for this season? How about two or three years down the road? How about your competitors? How do they value Seguin? Is he considered a potential 45-50-goal scorer with 90+ point upside? If not, he should. Read on to find out a few reasons why the move to Big D will help launch Seguin's production into the "elite" zone.
First off, Seguin isn't some failed draft pick who is hoping to turn his fortunes around in a new city. He is already a proven NHL point producer at the age of 21.
Reason #1 - Talent
This past season, Seguin finished with 32 points in 48 games (good enough for third on the Bruins roster). He was fourth among Boston forwards in ice time, and led the team in SOG by a significant margin (161 total, 36 more than Patrice Bergeron).
Seguin also led the Bruins in shots on goal per 60 minutes of even strength ice time (not a surprise considering he led the team in total shots and didn’t play the most minutes), generating more than 11 SOG/60.
In 2011-12, Seguin had his first breakout season at the NHL level. He led the Bruins in offense with 67 points in 81 games, even though he played “only” 16:56 per game (fifth among Boston forwards). He led the team in SOG (with 242, 51 more than Bergeron), and also led Boston in points per 60 minutes of even strength ice time at 2.67.
He has proven to be a strong possession player, too. To be fair, Boston is a very strong possession team and some of their overall abilities as a unit may have helped Seguin in this regard, but it still is another example of a 20-year-old excelling in the NHL. And that is something that doesn’t happen every day.
Seguin passes the "eye test" quite easily (he has been a dominant player in this league already with his speed and skill, and he is very fun to watch, too).
Reason #2 - Jamie Benn
I have written a lot about Benn over the past few years. He has developed into one of the better young centers in hockey, and now with the Seguin acquisition, he can finally move back over to the left wing (where he was drafted, where he feels the most comfortable, and where his offenisve upside is the highest). Benn and Seguin are both primarily shoot-first players, which makes it important to find them the proper third wheel. But they are different players - Seguin uses his speed and skill to dart around the ice and behind defensemen, while Benn plays more of a methodical, power game. They both have great hands and immense upside, and we will see Benn's best offensive performance to date this season. He wants to prove Team Canada wrong for leaving him off of the evaluation camp list, and that added motivation should only help both him and Seguin.
Benn's 2013 was a bit of a disappointment, but context is important. The Stars were incredibly thin at center and he was forced to handle a lot of the tough minutes (which will no longer be a problem with Shawn Horcoff and Rich Peverley now in the fold), and Benn played through a painful wrist injury for much of the season. For a player who earns his living with his hands and wrist shot, that is a tough injury to overcome.
Reason #3 - Lack of competition
Like Benn on the wing, Seguin is more comfortable and more effective at center. However, he wasn't going to get that opportunity in Boston. Patrice Bergeron hasn't made a mistake since 2003, and David Krejci is one of the better two-way centers in the game. Seguin was comfortable on the right wing, but he is at his best when he can handle the puck with speed, and that happens a heck of a lot more at the center ice position.
The Stars did shore up their depth issue at center, but there isn't a center on the roster who Seguin has to be worried about in terms of taking his spot on the top line. He is going to get his 19-20 minutes per night, and his production will inrease accordingly.
Don't be surprised to see Seguin approach - or even surpass - the point-per-game mark this season in Big D.
The beauty of an online (PDF) release, and what separates us from the competition, is that we are able to update the DobberHockey Guide throughout the rest of the summer and right up to puck drop in early October.
Other guides released in magazine format have to be written and submitted for publishing in late June with quick updates on free agency in early July.
As we all know, a lot can still happen in August and September. How about a strong training camp from a bubble player or a rookie? How about a late summer trade or signing?
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