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Right now, the main question leading into my keeper hockey pool draft is who to pick #1, Hall or Seguin?
Even the best of experts are at a loss as to who should have been the #1 pick for the NHL, much less in a keeper pool. Despite a half-decent record last year, thanks to a draft lottery, I somehow snagged the #1 pick. So I’ve been debating this all summer, and it’s coming up more and more since my draft is next weekend.
But I think I know how I’m leaning.
A #1 pick gives you a chance to build your team, and gives you hope for the future that you may be able to escape the bottom of the standings in your pool. While both may blossom into great NHL players, you don’t want to be the guy known for making the wrong pick.
Right now, there are a couple of things that endear me more to Tyler Seguin than Taylor Hall.
I like the fact that Seguin had just as many points in the regular season than Hall, despite playing on a worse team in juniors last year. (Yes, I understand that Hall went to the Memorial Cup, but playoffs generally don’t count in fantasy hockey: That’s why it’s safe to choose Dany Heatley in keeper pools). I also like the fact Seguin had 106 points in his second season, as opposed to Hall getting to that number is his third year in the OHL. That could show that Seguin picks up the next level of the game quicker.
I like the fact that Seguin is a centre while Hall is a winger. Centres generally tend to get more points. Six of the top eight NHL point getters last season were centres, while superstar centres such as Evgeni Malkin, Eric Staal, Vincent Lecavalier and Pavel Datysuk had off-years, and all still managed to nab at least 70 points.
I like the fact that Seguin was drafted in Boston, while Hall goes to Edmonton. Yes, Hall will get plenty of ice time with the Oilers, and Seguin may not even crack the lineup with the Bruins in his first year. But you have to concentrate on who will be better years down the road. Seguin has more help in Boston, and better leaders to teach him. Would you rather learn how to be an NHLer from Marc Savard and Zdeno Chara or Shawn Horcoff and Sheldon Souray?
Plus, Boston looks to be a better team down the road. They’ve got some good young talent, surrounded by veteran leadership. The Oilers have adequate young talent surrounded by the Prairies.
Another issue is that Hall skipped the NHL combine because of knee and back issues. The kid is 18 years old, and may already have problems. It may be nothing, but it’s something that could tip the scales if you’re trying to decide to who to choose.
So in the end, there should be no debate: Seguin should be your top choice.
Now, if could only convince myself of that at my draft.