BRIGHTON, Mass – As training camp unfolds for the Boston Bruins, a roster full of players on NHL contracts is taking shape for a group that truthfully had just a couple of lineup spots up for grabs during the preseason.
Certainly, an intriguing player like 27-year-old Jesper Froden has given the Bruins a possible option to call on when injuries, slumps or anything unforeseen hit the forward group during the season, and a young defenseman like Brady Lyle looks like a future NHL player that simply needs defensive fine-tuning at this point.
And 18-year-old first round pick Fabian Lysell has impressed in his first NHL camp even if it’s clear he’ll be earmarked for the Vancouver Giants and the WHL to properly develop his dynamic speed and skill game. Some make parallels to David Pastrnak when he stuck around the AHL/NHL during his rookie season in 2014-15, but Lysell isn’t quite as ready for the pros as the dominant Pastrnak was as a teenager.
But the bottom line with the B’s is that it’s a deep, NHL-proven lineup buoyed by the free agent signings over the summer, and that means there isn’t much of a shot for young guys like Urho Vaakanainen, Oskar Steen or Jakub Zboril – or Froden or Lyle for that matter – to break camp with the club unless there’s a wave of injuries.
It might be a bit discouraging to the young players, but that’s life for a hockey club like the Boston Bruins with Stanley Cup aspirations.