Nick Goss

Why Bruins should give Fabian Lysell a chance to play in NHL soon

It's time to give the 2021 first-round pick a chance to prove himself in the NHL.

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The Boston Bruins have successfully incorporated several of the organization's top prospects into their NHL roster at various times during the 2023-24 NHL season.

Rookie centers Matthew Poitras and Johnny Beecher made the Opening Night roster after winning their spots with strong showings in both training camp and the preseason. Rookie defenseman Mason Lohrei started the season with the AHL's Providence Bruins but has played well in his 27 games with Boston. The Bruins called up forward prospect Georgii Merkulov for a few games in late December/early January. He ranked fourth in the AHL in scoring at the time and was named AHL Player of the Month for December.

Who could be the next prospect to make his way up I-95 from Providence to Boston and make an impact for the Bruins?

It should be Fabian Lysell.

The Bruins' 2021 first-round pick is a dynamic offensive player. He plays with great pace and puts lots of pressure on opposing defensemen with his speed through the neutral zone. He's a talented playmaker and can generate his own offense with a great shot and an impressive repertoire of skill moves.

Lysell is enjoying a very good season offensively for the P-Bruins. He has tallied 30 points (11 goals, 19 assists) in 37 games. He has scored four goals with nine assists in his last 12 games. His 0.81 points per game is considerably higher than the 0.67 per game he tallied in the AHL last season.

This goal against the Utica Comets from Friday, Dec. 29 showed off Lysell's exceptional offensive skill:

Maybe it doesn't happen in the immediate future, but the Bruins should give Lysell a chance to show what he can do at the NHL level before the March 8 trade deadline.

The Bruins need to see what they have in this player. And, honestly, they could use another player with his kind of scoring ability. Not only can Lysell score goals with an excellent shot, he's a very good playmaker as well. For example, he has tallied at least one assist in eight of his last 12 games. He makes things happen with the puck thanks to his speed, passing and aggressiveness in the attacking zone.

The Bruins are on a hot streak offensively right now with a league-leading 67 goals in 16 games since the holiday break ended Dec. 27. Depth is important, and the Bruins cannot afford to be playing some of their veterans so many minutes during the second half of the regular season. Doing so could leave them with less gas in the tank come playoff time. Lysell can take some of those minutes and give the Bruins a secondary scoring boost.

The Bruins would be wise to target a middle-six wing who can score goals ahead of the trade deadline. The ideal scenario is filling that need internally, and Lysell is arguably the best candidate for it. If Lysell comes up, makes his debut and plays well, the Bruins would have much-needed scoring depth on the wing.

That scenario also would improve Lysell's trade value. The Bruins don't have a lot of draft picks (no 2024 first-rounder, no second-rounders in 2024 and 2025, etc.) and their prospect pool ranks in the bottom third of the league in the minds of most experts.

They don't have a ton of high-quality assets to outbid the rest of the league for the top players who might be available before the trade deadline. The B's need these prospects to show they can play in the NHL, and that's one of the biggest reasons to give Lysell a chance in the short term.

Montgomery has done a great job developing young players in his short time with the Bruins. Not only have Poitras, Beecher and Lohrei shown flashes of exciting potential, but Trent Frederic and Pavel Zacha have also taken huge strides under Montgomery.

The Bruins should see if Montgomery can achieve similar results with Lysell, who has a ton of offensive talent and deserves a chance to prove he belongs at the NHL level.

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