Boston Bruins star Tyler Seguin has spent this fall dominating the Swiss National League with EHC Biel. One of 10 Bruins currently playing in Europe, Seguin has had a remarkable season thus far. He currently leads his team in points and the entire league in goals.
So is Seguin the best NHL star playing Switzerland?
Since the lockout began in September, NHL players have flocked to Swiss teams. Twenty-two NHL players are currently occupying the country. Besides Seguin, the group is headlined by superstars Rick Nash, Joe Thornton, Logan Couture, Jason Spezza and the Bruins' Patrice Bergeron.
Although much of the NHL contingent arrived late for the Swiss season, many players have already risen to the top of the league's scoring charts. Below are the numbers for the top five NHL scorers in Switzerland as of November 4:
|Player:||NHL Team:||Swiss Team:||Games:||Goals:||Assists:||Points:|
|Damien Brunner||Detroit Red Wings||EV Zug||17||11||17||28|
|Linus Omark||Edmonton Oilers||EV Zug||19||7||19||26|
|Tyler Seguin||Boston Bruins||EHC Biel||15||13||10||23|
|Logan Couture||San Jose Sharks||Geneve-Servette HC||15||7||14||21|
|Patrice Bergeron||Boston Bruins||HC Lugano||8||8||8||16|
Though Seguin ranks fourth in the league in points with 23, he has amassed that total in just 15 games. The three players ahead of him, Damien Brunner, Linus Omark and former-Bruin Glen Metropolit, have all played more games.
Of the top scorers visiting from the NHL, Seguin plays on by far the worst team.
The league's top two point-getters, Brunner and Omark, benefit from a stellar supporting cast that includes other NHL players Henrik Zetterberg and Raphael Diaz. Brunner, who currently leads the pack, benefits from six years of experience in the Swiss league. The Swiss native has yet to play an NHL game, despite being a member of the Detroit Red Wings.
San Jose Sharks star Logan Couture has been spectacular for Geneve-Servette HC, nearly matching Seguin's numbers in the same number of games, but he has benefited from playing with a first place team.
HC Lugano's Patrice Bergeron has also thrived on a good team, averaging two points per game over eight contests. However, a small sample size of just eight games, due to a late start and a minor injury, hurts him in comparison to his Bruins teammate.
Seguin, meanwhile, has shined with an extremely limited supporting cast. EHC Biel is currently wallowing in ninth place in the 12 team league. For much of the season, Seguin's best teammate has been former University of New Hampshire star Jacob Macflikier, who never reached the NHL despite a number of years in the AHL and ECHL.
Seguin's ability to produce on a nightly basis without talented linemates has been exceptional. He has simply made the players around him better and dissected defenses despite drawing almost all of the opposition's attention as Biel's only obvious threat.
Luckily for Seguin, Biel recently found a major reinforcement in Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane. Kane recently joined Seguin on Biel's top line and should only help his numbers improve. The undersized Kane is a quick and creative playmaker, who can also score in bunches.
Since Kane's arrival, Seguin has exploded. In three games with the Blackhawks winger, Seguin has five goals and three assists. On November 2, Seguin scored four goals against first-place team Geneve-Servette HC. Kane assisted on three of Seguin's four goals.
After a relatively slow start to the season, Seguin has settled nicely in his temporary home. Averaging more than 1.5 points per game with a struggling team, Seguin has certainly looked like the the Swiss League's best player. Following a twelve day break in the Swiss schedule, he will resume his assault on the scoring charts on November 16.
Drafted second overall by Boston in 2010, Tyler Seguin emerged as the Bruins top scorer in 2011-12. He led the team in both goals and points as a second-year player. This season he seems likely to become a point-per-game player in the NHL as he develops towards super-stardom, assuming the lockout is eventually resolved
Considering the fact that established NHL scoring machines Joe Thornton, Rick Nash, Jason Spezza, and John Tavares have each compiled just 15 points or fewer in Switzerland, Tyler Seguin ought to be very proud of his European achievements.
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