Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hall Vs. Seguin Part 1, The Case For Taylor Hall

This is part 1 of my arguments for both players. I have yet to see anything but highlights from Seguin and I have only seen Hall in the WJC's this year. Let's break it down shall we?

Taylor Hall

1) Plays on a tremendous team and is barely out pointing Seguin who IS his teams offense.

2) Gets bounced around and takes physical abuse with his style of play.

3) Didn't carry Canada on his back to Gold at the WJC's.

4) Seemed to hog the puck at times at the WJC's.

5) Isn't a center, the most important forward position in hockey.

My Take:

1) The kid was 3rd on his team in scoring when he started his OHL rookie season as a FIFTEEN year old and finished only behind the 9th overall pick the next draft and a 20 year old. He also led his club with 45 goals that season. He then followed that up by leading his team in points and goals in his 2nd season and led the team in goals and points in the postseason on his way to winning the Memorial Cup and the MVP as a 16/17 year old.

2) He showed that he can take some serious punishment but still bounce up and keep playing his style of game. That is dogged determination, shows bravery, and shows the willingness to pay the price to be a great player. Not to mention it shows durability.

3) This was a fairly weak team that clearly missed Hodgson and needed better goaltending, better play from its 2nd year players, and another high skilled player in the top 6 to get Kadri the hell away from the PP unit and Hall's line.

4) Great players want the puck on their stick, no one else on his line had their games going so maybe he took it upon himself a tad bit too much. It's a learning experience for him and quite frankly outside of Patrick O'Sullivan the Oilers don't have a guy that wants the puck and has a blood thirst to score by any means necessary and unlike O'Sullivan, CAN score with regularity.

5) Hall is listed as a natural center and he could probably play center at the next level. However considering that many of our best players and prospects are seen as playmakers, we need a true finisher and a guy that can battle along the boards. Elite is elite period, and if we get an elite winger to compliment our current lot of centers that is fine, Hall will make any team that he joins better and he seems like a safer bet because of his past track record, his tradition as a winner and a guy that comes to play when the chips are down and is willing to do anything to win.

Taylor Hall has shown consistency to be a top player for 3 seasons now and despite criticism was still one of Canada's top performers at the WJC's. A leader on the ice, Hall exhibits good speed, a snipers shot, the ability and durability to play a physical game, playmaking ability when he chooses to utilize it, and above all else he has superstar potential.

Hall IMO is the safest pick this year and he suffers from having been in the spotlight for so long, everyone is looking to shoot holes in his game much like they did Tavares last season. The difference is that Hall has more speed and as a result should have a smoother transition to the NHL than Tavares has of late after a torrid start to the season. Lastly, he would be the biggest Alberta born player to lace 'em up for the Oilers since a guy that some compare him to left, The Moose, Mark Messier.

No comments: