(Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

By Andrew Bluestein | Follow Me On Twitter @adbblue

Boston Bruins 2020 second-round pick Mason Lohrei has certainly raised some eyebrows during training camp. The 6’4 defenseman got a lot of minutes in the preseason games he was in the lineup for and stood out.

In his first game against the Buffalo Sabres, he played 29:01, which led all skaters in ice time. The organization clearly has high expectations for the 22-year-old, and pairing him with Charlie McAvoy could be a sign of things to come. 

Boston already has arguably one of the strongest blue lines in the NHL, and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. The future seems bright with Charlie McAvoy and Hampus Lindholm locked up long-term and Lohrei knocking at the door. Especially if Lohrei and McAvoy eventually become the team’s top defensive pairing.

The way the two defensemen play complements each other very well, and they have a lot of similarities on top of that. Lohrei still needs to work on his defensive game, primarily positioning, but his offensive prowess has been front and center.

He’s made a number of different plays in the preseason with the puck on his stick that drew fans to their feet. McAvoy has been doing that since he entered the league in 2017, but the thought of two guys like that paired together should excite the Bruins faithful.Ā 

The two paired together during the preseason showed some good chemistry, especially in the offensive zone. Unsurprisingly, the puck movement was flawless, as they both have that at the top of their arsenal. Lohrei made a few really good Stretch passes from the defensive zone, allowing McAvoy to jump up in the play and join the rush.

In the fifth preseason game against the Washington Capitals, Lohrei scored his first goal as the trailer when McAvoy, as part of the rush, found Milan Lucic, who dropped it back for Lohrei, and he ripped it past Darcy Kuemper. Something we could see a lot of if the two are eventually paired together.Ā 

Lohrei still has a few things to clean up, but that is to be expected as he only has five professional games under his belt with AHL affiliate Providence after finishing there last season. He could still make the NHL roster, but getting more time down in the minors will allow him to work on the things he needs to improve while also building on his strengths.

If sent down, there is no doubt he’ll lead the Providence Bruins in ice time. Getting heavy minutes is a great opportunity for the former Ohio State Buckeye. On top of that, he’ll be sure to get plenty of opportunities on both special teams units.

The Madison, Wisconsin native is so close to being an NHL regular and cracking the roster isn’t out of the question. But starting the season in the AHL wouldn’t hurt at all. If assigned to Providence, It would be to know one’s surprise if he gets called up at some point during the season, especially if the blue line suffers injuries. But the potential pairing of Lohrei and McAvoy in the future is more than an ideal situation for the team.