To the surprise of nobody, really, Boston Bruins first round pick Fabian Lysell is expected to play for the Vancouver Giants in the WHL this season.
The 18-year-old wrapped up a solid rookie camp introduction by notching three assists in Boston’s 4-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils at the Prospects Showcase in Buffalo on Sunday afternoon. It was a better effort for the Swedish winger on Sunday than it was on Saturday as Lysell utilized his speed to dominate some of his shifts and fed fellow Swede Jesper Froden with a slick pass to set up a power play goal during the matinee affair.
Make it 4️⃣ for Froden. pic.twitter.com/pPDy17FtlO
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) September 19, 2021
The Boston Bruins have already talked about “the presence” that Lysell has on the ice thanks to his superior skating speed and high pace.
But it was also clear, at times, that the 5-foot-11, 172-pound Lysell has some developing to do when it comes to getting stronger on the puck, fighting along the boards and just getting used to playing in the smaller North American rinks. Lysell clearly has blazing skating speed and a good offensive skill set that made him a first round pick, but it’s also clear he’s not going to be another David Pastrnak ready to play in the NHL, or the American League, at 18 years old.
There may have been some question as to whether Lysell would be in junior hockey or the AHL for this upcoming season, but Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney ended that suspense quickly when he chatted with reporters in Buffalo following the game.
“It will be important for him to play against kids in his peer group. We’re excited that he’s going to play over here [in Vancouver],” said Don Sweeney. “We do believe the transition to the smaller ice surface, especially with young guys, they have to play in the hard areas of the ice in order to be successful. He’s more than willing to do that, but he’s got to find his space.”
Sweeney: ‘It will be important for him to play against kids in his peer group. We’re excited that he’s going to play over here.’
— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) September 19, 2021
The Bruins have enjoyed a traditionally good relationship with the Giants over the years as B’s players like Milan Lucic and Craig Cunningham spent their junior days with the WHL club, so it certainly feels like a good situation for Lysell to be in for his initial foray into North American hockey.
Lysell really has played only a handful of games in the top Swedish Elite League as well with Lulea, so none of this is really any surprise to the Bruins after selecting the speedy Swede with the 21st overall pick in the draft. He’s a raw hockey prospect with some great offensive tools that will develop in the WHL this season, likely play in the World Junior tournament for Team Sweden and continue honing the skills that flashed on numerous occasions during Boston Bruins rookie camp over the last handful of days.