The Bruins made a huge splash at the trade deadline bringing in Taylor Hall. We all know who Hall is, former number one pick former league MVP. Just check out his hockey reference page and look at his number. However, Hall also comes with his share of red flags. Around the league, Hall has a reputation as a losing player as being soft and not being a hard worker. Here is an article covering some of those issues. This article will take a closer look at Hall’s career so far and find out if he is all those things.
By The Numbers
So far in his career Hall has played for five different NHL teams. For a player who was supposed to be the future of the Oiler’s franchise that’s a lot of movement. So far Hall has played 669 NHL regular-season games. In those games, Hall has scored 585 points which rank him 22nd in the league during his career. The only players ahead of Hall with under 700 games played are Crosby, Malkin, and Stamkos. His .874 points per game are 31st in the league since Hall began his career. If we only include players with over 400 games Hall moves to 21st in points per game over the last 11 years. So Hall is just outside the top 20 in both total points and points per game for his career since entering the league.
Hall has still spent the majority of his career with the Oilers. During his six-year tenure in Edmonton Hall played in 381 games scoring 328 points with just a -27 rating. Keep in mind with that -27 this was the early 2010s Oilers. In those six years Hall never finished worse than 3rd in team scoring even leading the team for three seasons.
As for any help, the most 40 point scorers in a season Hall had with him was four. The Oilers would also make five top 4 draft picks after Hall with their lowest pick being 7th. The Oilers were loaded with high draft picks why is Hall singled out as the bad apple? The less the team in scoring half of his time with them. Hall even led the Oilers twice in goals and three times in assists. While the Oilers failed to make that step the numbers show it was hard because of Taylor Hall.
New Jersey Devils
After failing to make the playoffs in Edmonton Hall was shipped to the Devils. In four seasons with New Jersey Hall played in 211 games scoring 208 points. In Hall’s second season with the Devils, he would finally reach the playoffs. Not only did Hall lead the Devils to the playoffs he was the MVP of the league with 93 points in 76 games. Hall’s 93 points were 41 more than the next highest scorer on NJ. The next season wouldn’t go as planned with Hall only playing 33 games. Despite missing almost 50 games Hall still finished fifth in team scoring. In his final 30 games during the 2019-20 season with New Jersey Hall would score 25 points. That puts him on pace for 68 points in a full season.
As for any help Hall had in New Jersey, only three other players would top 40 points each season. Hall led New Jersey in scoring twice and would have led the team all four years if he played the full seasons. This brings us back to Hall being a lazy player. He was the Devil’s best player even carrying them to the playoffs. His MVP season saw Taylor score 93 points in 76 games. Second, on the team in scoring was Hischier with 52 points. While New Jersey would trade Hall it wasn’t because Hall didn’t fit it was because he could bring back assets to help NJ continue their rebuild.
Midway through the 2019-20 season Hall was traded to Arizona. In 35 games for Arizona Hall would score 27 points. Adding his 25 points from New Jersey Hall finished with 52 points in 65 games. Arizona’s leading scorer for the season was Nick Schmaltz with 45 points in 70 games. Arizona struggled to score only having two players score over 40 points on the season. Hall’s scoring ability on a team desperate for goals helped keep Arizona in the playoff race. Hall would see the most playoff action in his career so far with Arizona winning its play-in round over Nashville.
Taylor Hall signed with Buffalo this offseason to not be his teams offensive focal point. Hall’s time in Buffalo couldn’t have gone much worse. With Eichel fighting injuries all season the Sabres would struggle to score or win games. With just 19 points Hall was third in Sabres scoring before his trade to Boston. A career worst shooting percentage of 2.3% is partially to blame for the low production. With a career average of 10% Boston can expect Hall to start scoring some goals. In fact, it only took Taylor 3 games to equal the two goals he scored in 37 games with Buffalo.
Taylor Hall has a chance to change his career narrative in Boston. It’s clear looking at his scoring he is a top 25 offensive talent in the league. Not every player can weigh a franchise on their shoulders. Hall has been touted as the savior of every team he’s gone to. A big reason he signed in Buffalo was he could play behind Jack Eichel. Should Hall be blamed for being put in a role he couldn’t fill? Listen to this interview with Hall after the trade to Boston. That sounds like a player who wants to be here.
Jordan Eberle was traded out of Edmonton because he wasn’t a playoff performer. So far in 30 playoff games with the Islanders Eberle has 23 points. Hall in his limited playoff action has 12 points in 14 games. It’s time to look at the teams Hall has been on as the problem, not Hall himself. If it doesn’t work out in Boston then ok they were right. Until then Boston acquired one of the most dangerous offensive players in the league to play a secondary scoring role. It’s a very good move for the team and the player. Until next time stay safe out there and LET’S GO BRUINS!
Featured image courtesy of Getty Images/Icon Sportswire.