Every time a teenage athlete ends up in professional sports, we hear the same debate. Are they mature enough? Shouldn't they go to college? Won't this screw up their entire life? We hear it so much that sometimes it's nice to turn it all off and just trust in a kid like Tyler Seguin.
Tyler who? Exactly. The 19-year-old center helping the Boston Bruins through the NHL Playoffs isn't a household name like LeBron James or Kobe Bryant, straight-out-of-high-school stars who came before him and who have had as many bumps and bruises as pats on the back as they've surged ahead in sports. But that doesn't mean Seguin isn't making it. The very opposite in fact.
At 19, Seguin just became the first teen to score four points in a single period in the NHL playoffs. Heck, he's the first player of ANY age to do it since Trevor Linden, another young phenom, back in 1989. The Bruins won the game, by the way; they're currently up two games to the Tampa Bay Lightnings' one in the series. That's thanks in great part to Seguin, who had a ho-hum season, posting only 22 points in 74 regular-season contests before suddenly lighting up the ice with his playoffs performance.
I'm not surprised he took awhile to find his stride, and not simply because he's "just a kid." He's an athlete who had to adjust to a new level of play, moving from the Ontario Hockey League to the NHL after being drafted last summer. That's no small jump.
But what makes Seguin notable is that he has made the transition with a class that a lot of young athletes don't possess. He's talented but also poised. He's young but also able to withstand the insane pressures of the playoffs, and he's faring nicely. Said Bruins Coach Claude Julien:
One of our best players out there .... He’s competed extremely well and he’s been an excited individual waiting for his opportunity, and he’s certainly making the best of it.
So Tyler Seguin doesn't have the household name appeal of a LeBron or a Kobe. He's proven that young kids can make the transition to the big time and succeed at the sport. Isn't that the whole point of being an athlete? To score goals, not score spots on Page 6?
Do you know much about Seguin? Does he change your mind about young athletes?
Image via Boston Bruins