When it was determined that the Bruins would have the second overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, the Taylor [Hall] or Tyler [Seguin] debate began.
With the first overall pick the Edmonton Oilers selected Hall, leaving Seguin for the Bruins.
Bruins fans went nuts as it looked like for the first time since Joe Thornton that they had themselves a franchise player.
As Seguin struggled throughout his rookie season, fellow rookie Brad Marchand started to fly under the radar with a solid rookie campaign.
Marchand was a third round draft pick by the Bruins in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. The Halifax Nova Scotia native was drafted out of the Quebec junior hockey league (QMJHL).
The twenty-two year old was having a good year in Providence last season when he was called up to the NHL, but failed to do much with his opportunity.
In 20 games with the Bruins last year, Marchand failed to find the back of the net, and had just one assist.
After a solid training camp and pre-season, Marchand earned a spot with the Bruins and hasn’t looked back since.
Marchand got off to a slow start once again for the Bruins, but as the calendar flipped to 2011, No. 63 caught fire and became a key player for the Black and Gold.
The five-foot-nine forward finished the year with 41 points (21 goals). Marchand was also tied for third in the NHL with five shorthanded goals.
For the first time in his NHL career Marchand was able to suit up for the NHL’s postseason.
After successful regular seasons many rookies struggle in the postseason. When the game gets faster, the intensity rises, and the mistakes are more deadly, it’s understandable for rookies to lose their game, well that hasn’t been the case for Marchand.
In nine playoff games thus far, Marchand has nine points (four goals). His four playoff goals leaves him tied with Nathan Horton, Chris Kelly, and David Krejci for most Bruins playoff goals.
Bruins head coach Claude Julien loves the way Marchand plays, and hopes he keeps it up.
“Well that is the way he plays, and that’s the way he has to be to be successful. And Soupy [Gregory Campbell] is the same way. He’s not the biggest guy out there but he’s got one of the biggest hearts and he goes to the front of the net also. And they are not afraid. There are a lot of guys that it’s in their make-up. You can see bigger guys that don’t want to go there, it’s not in their make-up. So somehow, it’s about convincing certain guys, but some guys are very good on the perimeter, they find those loose pucks and [Anaheim's Teemu] Selanne is one of those guys that is very good at it. So everybody has a strength in their game and as long as you use to your advantage that’s what is important.”
With the play of Marchand, and other talented rookies, it’s going to be fun watching this team over the next few years.