November 10, 2011

Hall not sweating Seguin comparisons, focused on making his own mark

By Jesse Connolly

BOSTON — Entering the 2010-11 season, no two players in the NHL were more closely linked than Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall. After being the first two players selected in the preceding summer’s draft, the two forwards embarked on their rookie seasons with lofty expectations.

On an individual level, Hall trumped Seguin by leaps and bounds. The Oilers’ slick winger hit the ground running with 22 goals and 42 points before injuries put his season to a halt 65 games in. Seguin, meanwhile, amassed just 11 tallies and 22 points over the course of 74 contests.

However, there’s no doubting Hall would easily trade in his personal achievements for the experience Seguin enjoyed last season, as the first-year pro helped Boston capture the Cup for the first time in 39 years. The B’s 19-year-old winger built off of that experience with a tremendous start to the year, racking up 15 points to lead the B’s in scoring through 13 games.

“The way he’s playing, you’ve got to give him credit,” said Hall, who has nine points in the early-going. “He’s had a great season so far. They’ll always compare us for a long time and I wish him nothing but the best.”

Hall certainly doesn’t sweat those comparisons. After a year-long debate leading up to the 2010 draft of Tyler versus Taylor, the 6-foot-1 winger knows he and Seguin will always be connected, but he’s just going to focus on establishing his own identity.

“That’s fine with me,” Hall said. “I think I realized that we’re going to be compared for a long time and we’re only two years into our NHL careers. I think we’re both fine with that.

“I’m trying to be my own player. He’s obviously had success, last year winning the Cup. I’m just trying to make my own career and help this team out the best I can.”

The two will square off for the second time in their NHL careers tonight as the Northwest Division-leading Oilers pay a rare visit to TD Garden — the first such battle between the two eternally-entwined young stars in Boston.