Thu Jun 24 07:14pm EDT
(Reminder: NHL draft live chat begins noon ET/9 a.m. PT on Friday at Buzzing The Net, Y! Sports' junior hockey blog.)
LOS ANGELES — With the California sun beaming down on the top NHL draft prospects, assembled for an outdoor meet-and-greet, the dress was casual. No dress shirts and ties for the rookies, just NHL logo polo shirts from Reebok.
Peeking out of the sleeve of Plymouth Whalers center Tyler Seguin's shirt: Ink, in the form of a large tattoo on his left arm.
"I got my last name down my arm here. It's on scrolls," he said, pulling the shirt back to reveal it.
"Me and my dad always talked about it. I was 16, I wanted a tattoo. Something meaningful. I always want to wear my heart on my sleeve. Family, heart, passion, all that stuff. So I decided to get it on my sleeve," he said.
Why a scroll? It was a striking design, he said, and more memorable than the alternatives. "It would have been kind of plain if I had S-E-G-U-I-N down my arm. Add some spice to it, I guess."
Two days ago, Seguin's ink became somewhat of a family tradition: His father got the same tattoo. What did his mother think?
"I told mom to get one herself," he said, with a laugh. "No, we told my papa, who's much older, to get one. But he was saying heck no. He's not into that."
The Taylor Hall vs. Tyler Seguin debate here at the draft is slowly moving away from who will be No. 1 — because the belief is widespread that it'll be Hall to the Edmonton Oilers, then Seguin to the Boston Bruins — into a debate over who might have the most impact next season. Hall is considered NHL ready; Seguin is being asked frequently if he'll play a few games in the NHL and then return to juniors next season.
"I'm confident in my skills. Whatever team I'm drafted to, I want to hear the weaknesses and flaws in my game so I can keep on improving," said Seguin. "I want to earn a spot. I want to step in be an impact player. I think I can be a playmaker, a goal-scorer, a right winger or a center."
(Hear that Bruins fans? Right winger.)
As for Oilers vs. Bruins, Seguin said: "I just want to go to the team that wants me the most."