Boston Bruins rookie forwards Fabian Lysell and Johnny Beecher will get their chances to shine early in the preseason. The two most bantered about rookies in training camp so far, are both on the roster for the preseason opener against the Flyers Saturday night in Philadelphia (7 PM ET, TV: NESN, Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub).
Here’s the full lineup for tonight’s preseason opener against the Philadelphia Flyers:
Forwards: John Beecher, Jake DeBrusk, Nick Foligno, A.J. Greer, Joona Koppanen, Jakub Lauko, Vinni Lettieri, Fabian Lysell, Tomas Nosek, Oskar Steen, Jack Studnicka, Eduards Tralmaks, Chris Wagner
Defensemen: Jack Ahcan, Connor Carrick, Josiah Didier, Dan Renouf, Kai Wissman, Nick Wolff, Jakub Zboril
Goaltenders: Francois Brassard, Kyle Keyser, Keith Kinkaid
Johnny Beecher has been earning more confidence from the Boston Bruins coaching staff and team brass. After turning pro and joining the Providence Bruins last spring, Beecher closed the 2021-22 season out with three goals and two assists in first nine games in the American Hockey League. The 2019 first round pick (30th overall), got hot once again as he came into rookie camp and lit the lamp in all three Prospects Challenge games last weekend in Buffalo.
“The rhetoric has been a little bit unfair on Johnny, not to be defensive about it,” Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney told the media on Wednesday. “From a ceiling standpoint, we’ve been encouraged about what John’s physical attributes are. At times, he might have wanted more of an opportunity to be in a power-play position (at Michigan), but there was a pretty special group of guys who were prolific in those areas. Nothing against the coaching staff and whoever made those decisions. And maybe it’s on Johnny that he didn’t necessarily score at the rate that they would have compared him to other guys.
So, ideally, yeah we want to see what the ceiling is, and I think this is just the beginning of that. You saw a little glimpse of that in Providence and we started to work on areas that we want him to improve upon. And now we’re going to put him against a much higher level of skill in defending against him and see whether or not those things continue to translate like we saw at the prospect level.”
As for Lysell, he scored a goal in the Prospect Challenge and in the first two days of training camp, the Swedish rookie and 2021 first round pick (21st overall), has been riding shotgun with Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron.
“I think it’s important you give players that you think might have the potential to play in those spots the opportunity to play in those spots,” new Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery said of Lysell skating next to the future hall of famer, Bergeron. “If you put them with fourth line players then you may not get to see what they can do as far as making plays and jumping into holes.
“The first couple of exhibition games we’re going to focus on getting a lot of young people in the lineup to get a look at them, but people have got to earn it in these first couple of days. You want to see a lot of young players earning it for that reason.”
Here’s what the forward lines and defensive pairings looked like at the game-day skate before the Boston Bruins flew south to Philadelphia:
Nick Foligno – Johnny Beecher – Jake DeBrusk
A.J. Greer – Jack Studnicka – Fabian Lysell
Chris Wagner – Tomas Nosek – Oskar Steen
Jakub Lauko – Joona Kopppanen – Vinni Lettieri
Jakub Zboril – Connor Carrick
Jack Ahcan – Josiah Didier
Dan Renouf – Kai Wissmann