BRIGHTON, MA – One of the real disappointments of a Boston Bruins development camp that actually turned out pretty well was the absence of Boston’s best forward and defenseman prospects from the big group of young players.
Fabian Lysell is in Sweden readying for this summer’s World Junior tournament with his fellow Team Sweden players, and Mason Lohrei was unable to participate in this week’s on-ice practice sessions after undergoing a knee procedure. The injury knocked Lohrei out at the end of his college hockey season at Ohio State where the big-bodied defenseman did a good job of living up to expectations after Boston selected him in the second round.
Lohrei was among the best offensive defenseman in the entire country for college hockey with four goals and 29 points in 31 games for the Buckeyes and stands 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds as a player that will be capable of handling business in his own end as well. He’ll also start on the road to readying for next season in a couple of weeks when he finally enters the skating portion of his rehab from a knee injury.
“I’m in a later phase now. I start skating in a couple of weeks [and] I’m excited for that,” said Lohrei, while talking to reporters on Friday at Warrior Ice Arena as development camp was wrapping up for the week. “Been itching for a while.
“Going back [to college] and continuing to work on my game and get stronger, quicker, work on my defending, little details like that is really intriguing to me. And I grew up dreaming of winning a national championship. Go back and try to accomplish that this year.”
🎥 B’s defense prospect Mason Lohrei on his rehab from a knee procedure: “It’s going well…I’m in a later phase now. Just trying to strengthen as much as I can and get back on the ice soon. I start skating in a couple weeks here.”#BruinsDevCamp | @MassGenBrigham pic.twitter.com/NVdDFpPvs9
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) July 15, 2022
Surely that itch to get on the ice must have been at an all-time high this week as Boston’s best prospects took the ice to show what they could do. Boston Bruins Player Development Director Jamie Langenbrunner pointed to BC-bound Oskar Jellvik, 2022 second round pick Matthew Poitras, big defenseman Ryan Mast and former first round pick Johnny Beecher as players that really stood out among Boston’s young contingent of players.
Lohrei surely would have been one of those standouts had he been able to play, and it’s absolutely realistic to believe he could be pushing for NHL work as early as next spring once the Buckeyes season is over. The 21-year-old hinted that he hopes his NHL dreams aren’t far off and that he can “make the jump sooner rather than later”, but until then he wants to continue rounding his defensive game into shape with people like Boston Bruins player development coordinator Adam McQuaid advising him on the little details.
“Being more physical, harder to play against that way,” said Lohrei. “I talked a lot this year with Jamie and Adam [McQuaid]. Working on my stick, working on my gap, closing quicker and faster. I want to play against the other team’s best players and shut them down. It’s something I take a lot of pride in.”
It won’t be long now until Lohrei is beyond the development camp stage and in the blueline mix for the Boston Bruins even if he didn’t make it on the ice this week with many of the other Black and Gold prospect hopefuls.