( Photo Credit: Theo Lander / BNG Productions )

By: Theo Lander | Follow me on Twitter @lander_theo

Fabian Lysell is the new apple of Bruins fans’ eyes. 

The Swede caught the attention of the masses with his stellar play at this past year’s World Junior Championships. He put up two goals and four assists in seven games for his native Sweden. Fabian did so in style, including this snipe from below the faceoff dot: 

As a result, Bruins fans began foaming at the mouth to see if he’d have a spot on the roster for this upcoming season. Many were even suggesting that the 19-year-old is already an NHL-caliber player. That, however, remains to be seen.

On day one of Bruins Rookie Camp, Lysell definitely stood out amongst the pack. In a combination of break-in/break-out drills, he was able to show off his best attributes. Fabian is smart with the puck on offense and shoots with a purpose. Many times throughout the session, he picked corners with ease, putting the puck past either netminder with little to no resistance.

His quick release allowed him to do so, which many had anticipated after his World Juniors run. Fabian also displayed his ability to change direction on a dime while maintaining possession of the puck. He did so numerous times along the boards, shaking defenders in the process.

While Lysell is often praised for his offensive ability, we also got a glimpse at what he’s able to do on defense. In this play, he made a diving effort to prevent a scoring chance on the backcheck. It’s impressive to see Fabian prioritizing his defensive play here, and it certainly bodes well for his development down the line.

At this point, it would appear to me that Bruins fans are asking the wrong questions regarding Fabian Lysell. Everybody wants to know if he can play at the NHL level or has a spot on the team’s roster. Truth be told, we won’t know for sure until he gets some reps in during the preseason. Fabian has earned his learner’s permit; now, he just has to get through driver’s ed. 

That said, even if he is NHL-ready, should the Bruins play him? We already know how tumultuous this season will be to start, so should Lysell just be thrown into that mix? In my opinion, that doesn’t seem to be a winning formula for player development. I don’t see the value in giving a borderline NHL talent playing time in the bottom six for a below-average team. That sounds like the type of scenario that should be avoided, and if the team truly does underperform in the absence of their stars, then it just makes sense to play Lysell in Providence.

His development would be much better suited in the AHL on the first line, where he’ll get much more playing time. On top of that, Fabian himself even acknowledged that the North American style of hockey is much different from the European style that he’s so accustomed to. Why not give him more time to adjust to that style while getting prime treatment on the Providence Bruins?

All in all, Lysell has shown his high-level talent. He has tons of potential to develop into a key player for this team down the line. But in the meantime, I think it’s best not to rush things with him. Fabian is still just 19 years old, with plenty of room and time to grow.