By: Mark Allred | Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277
In several National Hockey League entry drafts of the past, the Boston Bruins organization tends to address future needs when it comes to defensive players being selected from rounds one to three. In this summer’s 2021 virtual entry draft, the B’s took a huge step in identifying a hole at right-wing, one that’s hindered this team in developing a high-caliber player on the right side for the last seven years. The last right-winger this club properly developed through the system was David Pastrnak, who was selected in the first round of the 2014 entry draft from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
With the 21st overall selection this year, the Bruins took 18-year-old Fabian Lysell, which many today say was the steal of the draft, at least when considering the first round. Lysell, who spent a majority of his younger years over in Sweden with the Hovas HC, and Frolunda HC programs, most recently graduated to the Swedish Hockey League, which is the highest level of pro hockey in that country. Before Lysell’s draft-eligible year, he spent 26 games with the Lulea HF club, where he posted 2-1-3 numbers.
Lysell, who was slated to start the 2021/22 season with the SHL Lulea club under a two-year extension he signed on January 25th, 2021, was not happy with his potential role for the upcoming year. Reading some reports online, it seemed Lulea didn’t see him as a full-time player on the SHL squad, and he could spit time with the Swedish countries pro league and their J-20 club. It’s also rumored that a confident Lysell spoke up about his playing ability and stressed that he needs this type of upward sustainability as it’s important for his ongoing development. The disagreement from both sides is probably why he signed his three-year, entry-level contract with the Boston Bruins on August 8th, 2021.
With Fabian currently in North America, the question is, where does the talented right-winger play? There are a few options for the skilled forward when it comes to the continued effort of rounding out his game properly. Lysell was selected by the Western Hockey Leagues Vancouver Giants, where former Bruins left-winger and Stanley Cup Champion Milan Lucic played his Canadian Junior Hockey. The WHL Giants selected him in the 2020 CHL Import Draft with the 30th pick in the first round. Even though the WHL club owns his junior import rights, that’s not the only option if Bruins management sees differently after the upcoming preseason camps.
Lysell will be attending the annual Prospects Challenge in Buffalo, New York, from September 17th to the 19th at the LECOM Harborcenter, where the three-team weekend tournament is being held. New Providence Bruins Head Coach Ryan Mougenel had these quotes to say below in a 98.5 The Sports Hub article by Ty Anderson about how the Bruins organization is going to take Fabians on and off ice evaluations in a step-by-step process.
“He’s going to come to rookie camp,” new P-Bruins head coach Ryan Mougenel said. “We’re excited about him. I think the one big thing for us with the Bruins is that we’re just taking it day-by-day. The rookie camp is a great starting point for him, and we’re going to work from there and see where it goes. I think it’s pretty evident that he’s got some special talents.”
“It’s funny; I was just actually sent a video from his skills coach in Sweden who I’ve actually befriended and know,” Mougenel revealed. “And I’ve obviously seen the videos that you’ve seen. I haven’t really dissected his game. I haven’t really watched it too closely. Obviously seen a lot of the highlights.”
“[Lysell]’s still only 18 years old, so obviously, we’re very excited to get him acclimated to the foundations of the Bruins and what we are and what we believe,” said Mougenel. “And the quicker we can get him acclimated to that in rookie camp, there’s no ceiling for him at all.”
Currently, Fabian is with the Vancouver Giants for their training camp but will report to Boston for the start of the NHL team’s rookie camp kickoff at the Warrior Ice Arena on Thursday, September 16th, 2021. Lysell will also participate in the upcoming NHL Bruins Training camp, which is rumored to start sometime in the third week of this month. If he survives those festivities, it’s highly likely Lysell could find himself not going back to Vancouver and seemingly paved his way for looks at the American Hockey League level and, who knows, maybe consideration at the National Hockey League level.
Regardless of what level of hockey Lysell participates in for the upcoming season, Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney is excited for his placement somewhere in North America. Sweeney also understands that Fabian is a work-in-progress and had this to say below, again quoted from the 98.5 article above.
“He has a certain skill set that was certainly attractive to us: Passion and drive for the game. Adapting to a North American style and smaller rinks, when he decides to come over, is something we’ll have to have discussions with him and his representatives. We are excited for what Fabian brings, and his passion and skill combination were unique for us to identify.”
Below is a short scouting report paragraph from the great folks at the EliteProspects.com website. These words are also hyperlinked to the complete EliteProspects.com 2021 NHL Draft Guide about Lysell and is a must-click and read about the future Boston Bruins star.
His skating form is nearly perfect, with great posture, depth, and flexibility at the ankles, knees, and hips, giving him straight-line speed and two-step quickness to burn. Lysell spots teammates through layers and has the deft touch to get them the puck when the time is right. He scans regularly, reloads to support his defencemen, tracks well through the neutral zone, and his work rate never wanes.
I’m really excited to watch this player develop in North America, either in the WHL or at the pro hockey levels. If the player and Bruins organization agree that the Vancouver Giants is the best start for him, you can watch Lysell’s games as a Giant here at watch.chl.ca with a paid subscription. If Fabian lands a roster spot in the AHL with the Providence Bruins, you can stream those games by getting a streaming subscription at watchtheahl.com for several affordable packages.