It’s been said that some leaders are born with the traits that make them what they are, while others develop them as they go. It doesn’t really matter how somebody assumes the kind of role most of us only aspire to, only that they do. I’m convinced Taylor Hall is on his way.
Hall has impressed me as a young man with great leadership potential from the moment I met him leading up to the 2010 Entry Draft and he continues to do so.
I’m not sure there’s a standard way to measure that with a person, as in something you can put a finger on, but the more I sat back and watched and listened and talked — on and off the record — to Hall during his injury-shortened rookie season with the Edmonton Oilers, the more impressed I was. He’s driven. He’s competitive. He expects a lot of himself.
It was more of the same today as Hall, who won’t even celebrate his 20th birthday until mid-November, checked in on the Jason Gregor Show and talked about taking on more of a leadership role despite being the baby-face on the rebuilding Oilers — at least until Ryan Nugent-Hopkins grabs a roster spot.
Hall talks the talk, and from what I’ve seen so far, he’s willing to walk the walk. Here’s what Hall had to say to Gregor today . . .
ON LEADERSHIP . . .
"Well, that’s something I’m hoping to do," said the two-time Memorial Cup MVP with the Windsor Spitfires, when asked by Gregor if he wants to take on a greater leadership role.
"I’m still a 20-year-old in the league and by no means do I think I know everything, but I do think I have a lot to offer next year.
"Once your first year comes around, you’re a little bit wide-eyed and you come in not knowing what to expect, but this year I know what’s coming for me and I want to become more of a leader on this team because I want to play in Edmonton for a long time and be a good leader on that team."
ON NUGENT-HOPKINS . . .
Co-host Jason Strudwick asked Hall how familiar he is with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, taken first overall by the Oilers this June in Minnesota.
"I remember when I was 11 or so at a tournament in Detroit, I remember seeing him play," Hall said. "I remembered the name. He was very widely talked about then. He continued, obviously.
"I got to meet him at the draft. He’s a super-nice kid. I think he’s going to do great things for our franchise. Whether he makes it this year or not, I don’t really think matters.
"Personally, I think that with his skill-level, he’s going to make a helluva run for it. Speaking for me, I’m really glad to have him on our team."
All the right words, again. Unless I’m dead wrong about Hall, when the captain’s "C" eventually comes off of Shawn Horcoff’s jersey, it’ll be stitched on Hall’s No. 4.
Something special, this kid.
Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.