By: Sam Minton | Follow me on Twitter @sam_minton22
The Boston Bruins are nearing the end of an era. With players such as Patrice Bergeron and Tuukka Rask reaching the end of their NHL careers, the B’s will be looking to rebuild their system as they prepare for life without their stars.
Bruins fans got a taste of the youth last season. The blue line looked like it belonged in daycare with the likes of Jakub Zboril, Urho Vaakanainen, and Jack Ahcan getting some playing time. Also, young goaltender Jeremy Swayman got some playing time at the end of the season. Last season also saw Jack Studnicka, Karson Kuhlman, Trent Frederic, and Anton Blidh get their shot at playing with the big boys.
It was a mixed bag of results as players such as Swayman and Frederic seemed to be more successful with the likes of Zboril, Vaakanainen, and Studnicka leaving fans wondering if they have what it takes to be productive NHL players. While there are some interesting prospects, Boston’s pipeline isn’t exactly filled to the brim with talent.
Boston’s prospect pool did get a boost due to the most recent draft as they selected Fabian Lysell, who was drafted 21st overall by the B’s. Seeing that he is 18 years old and already has signed an entry-level contract, his future with the Bruins is bright.
Lysell is a quality skater who has some great hands. The Athletic’s Corey Pronman projects that he has the potential to be a second-line winger and is ranked as Boston’s best prospect.
Pronman ranked the top prospects and under 23 players in the organization, and while there are definitely some names that will get Bruins fans excited, some are on their way to being busts. This led Pronman to rank Boston’s talent pool 29th out of the 32 NHL clubs.
The Bruins have youngsters such as John Beecher, Jakub Lauko, and Mason Lohrei, who appear to have bright futures. Beecher is about to play in his senior season, and Lauko will be looking to stay healthy and make a case for some call-ups to the NHL this season.
But Vaakanainen and Studnicka are reaching the tipping point when it comes to their time in Boston. They need to start showing up, or the Bruins might be forced to move on from them.
With the retirement of some key players likely to happen soon, Boston needs to continue to get younger. They need to be acquiring draft picks instead of throwing them away. While there will be plenty of chatter about taking one last big swing with the current core players, the front office can’t blow up the future of the organization for simply a chance to win.
So there is definitely a reason to be concerned about the Bruins prospect pool. Hopefully, in the following years, fans will see the team climb up these rankings.