By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
Tyler Seguin holds a simple individual goal in mind heading into his second NHL season as a 19-year-old puck prodigy with a Stanley Cup already under his belt.
After spending the summer working out with the trainers at BioSteel Sports and raising his body weight all the way up to 196 pounds heading into training camp, Seguin has diligently worked on increasing his size and physical strength.
For a guy listed as 186 pounds during his rookie campaign -- that probably dropped to around 180 pounds during the postseason -- Seguin has done plenty of work in the weight room. That should help him win battles in the corner for pucks, and make Seguin a tougher customer on the puck when the Bs desperately need it.
Ive talked to him and seen him, and I think hes gotten taller actually, said general manager Peter Chiarelli. Ill be curious to see when hes measured on Friday. I know hes gotten bigger. He told me he was 196. Usually thats a high water mark and hell come down to 194 pounds or whatever, but he does look bigger.
I see a more mature kid. Its just maturation and growing up. Hes maturing, hes getting stronger and he knows what to expect. With all of that comes more confidence and I anticipate some improvement.
BioSteel Sports even had workout guruNHL legend Gary Roberts consult with Seguin and the rest of the players for several weeks over the summer. Roberts was the nutritionfitness expert credited with carving Steve Stamkos into such a physical specimen prior to his second NHL season.
Nobody is holding Seguin to that high Stamkos standard coming off an uneven rookie season with a veteran Bruins crew, but improvement over last years 11 goals and 22 points shouldnt be too difficult.
Seguin is returning to the same veteran Bs team that held few openings within the top six forwards for a skilled player like himself, but the Bruins coaching staff has always shown theyll make room for a youngster that pushes his way into the fold. That will be the challenge for No. 19 this season as a 19-year-old that seems to have it all at such a ridiculously young age.
So Seguin celebrated the Cup win for a couple of weeks after things were over in Vancouver, and has since worked feverishly in Toronto getting himself ready for a bigger and better sophomore effort.
I had probably the summer of my life starting off with winning and going back home to see family and friends, said Seguin. Bringing the Cup back to them is what its all about. Then I got back to work, put on a few pounds and got ready to get back for this year.
Im expecting a better season from myself this year. Its obviously nice to not go into the season blind. I know what to expect mentally and physically now, and I obviously want to earn more respect from the staff and players. Getting more ice time obviously goes right along with that, and that will help me with my production on the ice.
The most important goal for Seguin headed into this season is earning the respect of each member of the roster and staff, and by virtue earning a bigger slice of the ice time handed out by coach Claude Julien. Seguin managed only 12:13 of ice time per game in his 71 contests while bouncing between positions, lines and linemates, and thats not enough ice for a player looking to break games open with his explosive skills.
Both Julien and Chiarelli expected a more mature, experienced player ready to hit the ground running this time around. In the end it will be about producing more offense on a consistent basis and minimizing the cold streaks that were all too prevalent in Seguins first season. If that happens Seguin will get his ice time and should see the kind of year everyone unfairly envisioned for him as an 18-year-old babe in the NHL woods last year.
We need to see him be a better player. Hes got a year under his belt, so its consistency, said Julien. He showed flashes of what he can do. We just need to see on a more consistent level. Hes going to have more confidence and he has the experience, so thats going to come.
I think he understands that and he certainly seems to think that hes ready for it.
If Seguin can become the permanent winger alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand then all the better, but theyll take an uptick in offensive performance and some production on the power play either way. With a core of older, battle-hardened players on the Bs roster, it will be the energy and fresh body of a player like Seguin that could help push Boston as far as they go next spring.