With over a third of this NHL season now passed here's a quick look at how Edmonton's Taylor Hall (the first overall pick in the 2010 Entry Draft) and Boston's Tyler Seguin (second overall) are faring in their rookie campaigns (as of December 20th, 2010).
Hall: 31 GP, 10G, 9A, 19 Pts, -2 Plus-minus, 6 PIMs
Seguin: 29 GP, 5G, 6A, 11 Pts. +2 Plus-minus, 8 PIMs
In the overall rookie scoring lead, Hall is currently fourth, his 19 points behind only San Jose's Logan Couture (24), Carolina's Jeff Skinner (23) and teammate Jordan Eberle (22). His ten goals are second only to Couture's 17. Seguin meanwhile is currently 16th.
Looking at those stats one would assume Hall has better adjusted to the NHL pace than Seguin, but those numbers fail to tell the whole story.
Seguin lags so far behind Hall and others in the rookie scoring chase because he's seeing predominantly checking duty this season playing on a Bruins team already deep at center with talented veterans Marc Savard, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci.
As a result Seguin spent more time on the wing rather than his natural center position, averaging only 12:21 in ice time thus far.
Hall meanwhile is playing on a rebuilding Oilers club (his ten goals are tied with veteran Dustin Penner for the team lead) where he's getting more playing time on the top two lines (averaging 17.31 minutes per game of ice time) plus he's playing his natural left wing position rather than having to adjust to a different position and role like Seguin.
As the season progresses Hall, who's overcome a slow start, could find himself in contention for the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year if he continues to improve. He's been playing up to expectations in recent weeks as one of the league's top rookies and has a very bright future ahead of him.
Seguin probably won't be given Calder consideration unless the Bruins switch him back to center and allow him to play regularly on one of the top two lines for the rest of the season, which isn't likely to happen unless most of their top centers are sidelined.
Don't however make the mistake of considering Seguin a draft “bust”. Far from it. He's already become an integral part of the Bruins lineup,benefiting from playing with a deeper.veteran-laden team, and his time on the checking lines will help him become a more well-rounded player in the long run.
Within the next couple of seasons Seguin will get more time on the Bruins' top lines and should have a wonderful NHL career.