BRIGHTON, MA – One of the longest and most time-honored traditions of NHL training camp, Boston Bruins or not, is the young upstart prospects being paired in practice, and sometimes in games, with the veteran superstar players to show them the ropes.
It would often happen in year’s past with the hotshot defenseman skating in a pairing with then-captain Zdeno Chara, and it absolutely happens now with young forwards like 19-year-old Fabian Lysell skating on a practice line with 37-year-old Patrice Bergeron. Forget about the fact that Bergeron is old enough to be Lysell’s dad and instead focus on the young B’s hopefully learning the Boston Bruins Way alongside one of the best to ever play in a Black and Gold uniform.
“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,” said Jim Montgomery. “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.”
So what has Montgomery thought about first impressions of Lysell?
“Just dynamic, how he attacks people’s feet,” said Montgomery. “He makes defenseman face him, which good offensive players will manipulate defensemen’s feet. He understands how to do that already, so he’s going to make plays.”
Needless to say, Lysell was properly in awe as he gets his first NHL camp underway with a real shot at winning a roster spot if he can dazzle enough in the preseason.
“I think he’s one of the best players in the world. The overall game and all the small details…how good he is with the stick. Communicating, if there is something coming up, he’ll talk about it right away and you understand what he means right away, and you can change up the routes that you are going. Obviously, it’s a special thing to be able to practice with high skill guys like that,” said Lysell. “I’m just trying to enjoy every time at practice and trying to learn as much as possible.
“You just need to be alert all the time and try to take in as much as possible. To see how he works and all the details. I try to take as much as possible and still focus on my game and use my strengths as I can contribute out there.”
🎥 Fabian Lysell on getting the chance to play on a line with Patrice Bergeron: “I think he’s one of the best players in the world. It’s just the overall game and all the small details, how good he is with the stick and communicating.” pic.twitter.com/wJeX7bwWaz
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) September 23, 2022
For Bergeron, it brought back vivid memories of him as an 18-year-old roster hopeful getting a chance to play on a line with veterans Glenn Murray and Sergei Samsonov when he was on his way to winning a roster spot way back in 2003.
“[Lysell] is definitely a great talent. A lot of speed and a smart player. It’s good to have a chance to be with him on the ice and get to know him,” said Bergeron. “On the ice we’re just trying to talk about where to be on the ice and talk about drills to make sure he knows where he’s going.
“I know for me when I was a young guy coming in, my first scrimmage at main camp was with Glen Murray and Sergei Samsonov. I’ll never forget that. You learn from those guys that have been around and that you look up to, the guys that have the experience. That’s what we can share with them. It’s always great to have that young energy on your wing. It’s something that can be very beneficial for young guys coming up.”
Here are the line combos from the first couple of days of Boston Bruins training camp: