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Boston Bruins Tap ‘Game-Breaker’ Lysell In First Round



Boston Bruins

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.

“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.”



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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.

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston,, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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So, you lose Kevan Miller who was your biggest policeman to protect your star players, you have a 6’5″ defenseman who has concussion problems now because he’s basically a target because he WON’T fight, you MIGHT sign a gifted 2nd line center, but who crumbles every time he gets hit, you LOST your only young defenseman who showed any kind of physical promise, and you still have a part-time “tough guy” on the payroll who doesn’t do that job very well (Ritchie). Every year you make the playoffs (mostly because of your first line), you get creamed physically. So what… Read more »


Nice pick, see ya in a couple years. Whatever happened to the Pastrnak that dazzled everyone back then? He plays like he is in fear of getting hit! Poor passing, a glimmer of excellence occasionally, but he has cooled off greatly. Time to make a trade, Sweeney. Replace Miller. Now bud!

Rick W Murray

Yawn.. Sweeney as usual takes two weeks to lock up a player who wanted to stay in Boston to begin with where are the deals Sweeney!?!?
I’m starting to look forward to these drafts and free agency days about as much as I look forward to charging into the to do list my wife makes up for me.

[…] has the speed, he has the skill, he has the ability to shoot the puck past the goaltender,” Bruins GM Don Sweeney said after the first round of the 2021 NHL Draft. “And some game-breaking ability that was hard for us to pass […]

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