TORONTO – Tyler Seguin gathered his team, sprawled out on centre ice cradling the championship trophy, raised one index finger and smiled.
A mob of loud, giddy children in the bleachers chanted “TY-ler!” then “SE-guin!” on repeat.
The Dallas Stars’ No. 1 centre successfully defended the BioSteel Cup Thursday at St. Michael’s College School Arena in Toronto.
Team Seguin defeated Team Nurse 5-2 in the final of a four-team, four-on-four mini tournament that serves as the culmination of BioSteel’s weeklong pro training camp.
Captained by Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse, the runner-ups featured league MVP Connor McDavid, Islanders rookie Josh Ho-Sang, and Bruins goaltending prospect Malcolm Subban.
“It’s all for fun. There is a little bit of pride on the line. This is our gym. We all train together, so we’re kinda like a second team here in the summer. We leave our equipment here together every day,” said Seguin, who attributed the victory to his shrewd draft strategy.
Not shocked to be picked 1 who's @cmcdavid97 seems like a made up account! He's probably not that fast! #rohroh https://t.co/31NHLNSmLi
— jason demers (@jasondemers5) August 14, 2017
“Last year I drafted a goalie first. This year I went with a D-man, Jason Demers [Seguin’s friend and former Stars teammate]. I looked at Nurse’s roster and made sure I had an extra defenceman. The guys played hard.”
Team Seguin was backstopped by impressive Blues goaltending prospect Jordan Binnington and featured Tom Wilson, Logan Stanley, Andrew Agozzino, and Brett Connolly.
Still recovering from shoulder surgery, Seguin himself registered a highlight goal when he batted the puck out of midair — “I don’t know if he gave me the same pass a shift later I’d be able to do it again,” he explained — but it was 20-year-old Lightning prospect Mitchell Stephens who stole the show with a natural hat trick in the final.
“MVP in my books, especially in the finals. Heck of a shot, the guy competes, and he’s got a great opportunity down in Tampa,” said Seguin, who opened up his home to Stephens for camp.
“He’s my rookie for the week, so he’s been driving me around and buying me movies and stuff. The chemistry’s there. Maybe he’ll come down to Dallas. Who knows?”
Seguin has been attending the off-season training camp for nine years now and has evolved from the kid following Mike Cammalleri and Nik Antropov around the gym to a leader of the talent-laden training group overseen by Matt Nichol.
While his right shoulder isn’t quite 100 per cent back to normal, Seguin assures that it’s getting there and that the rehab has allowed him to focus on conditioning his lower body as the official NHL training camp nears.
“I feel good. I feel more explosive,” Seguin said. “The shot’s coming around, and I’m feeling a lot better.”