The Boston Bruins held onto their first-round pick (21st overall) and appear to have picked a good one in speedy, skilled Swedish right winger Fabian Lysell.
For a Bruins team that was lacking in high-end offensive prospects with a draft-and-development cupboard that had gone dry a bit in recent years, Lysell brings a lot of qualities that Boston doesn’t have in high abundance among their prospect pool.
The 5-foot-11, 172-pound forward had only two goals and three points in 26 games for Lulea in the Swedish Elite League playing against men, but Lysell dominated in the Under-18 tournament against players his own age with speed, skill and playmaking. The 18-year-old had three goals and nine points in seven games during the Under-18’s and put on a show against Team USA where he looked dominant against his peers.
Bruins first round pick Fabian Lysell. That’s exactly the kind of speed/skill package you’re looking for in a first rounder & what Bruins are currently missing in their prospect ranks. Good pick pic.twitter.com/qWv6IkuAeU
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) July 24, 2021
“I think I’m a dynamic player,” said Lysell, who admitted his No. 1 priority is gaining size and strength to adapt to the higher levels of hockey. “I like to challenge opponents with pace, and I like to be in those dangerous scoring areas.”
Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that the Bruins were in the mix of discussions about moving around in the first round as those discussions heated up in the middle of the round but were happy to stay at 21st overall when Lysell was still there for the taking. The Bruins have drafted a lot of defensemen over the last six seasons with their top picks and a couple of rugged forwards in Trent Frederic and Johnny Beecher, but they haven’t drafted a player in the first round with true game-breaking ability since selecting David Pastrnak all the way back in 2014.
“[Lysell] has the speed, he has the skill, he has the ability to shoot the puck past the goaltender,” said Sweeney. “And some game-breaking ability that was hard for us to pass up.”
Lysell is expected to travel to Boston for Bruins development camp early next month, but he’s likely at least a year or two away from potentially contributing at the NHL level while he builds up enough strength for the pro game. That being said, the same was assumed about Pastrnak seven years when he was selected 25h overall before he blew away Boston Bruins officials with his speed, skill and creativity with the puck during development camp.