(Photo Credit: Derik Hamilton/AP Photo)

By: Tom Calautti | Follow me on Twitter @TCalauttis and Linktree

Less than a month ago, Providence Bruins Head Coach Ryan Mougenel sent shockwaves through Bruins fandom. Following a 4-1 loss to the Syracuse Crunch, Mougenel was asked about Fabian Lysell’s performance this season, and he didn’t hold back:

It hasn’t been the easiest of seasons for Lysell. He was given a chance to skate with Charlie Coyle and Brad Marchand in training camp but failed to compete for a roster spot. He’s also had several stretches where he failed to consistently put up points for the Providence Bruins. He was even called a bust by ESPN anchor John Buccigross earlier in the season.

With pressure mounting and the weight of expectations beginning to bear down, some questioned whether Lysell could rise above the noise and salvage what looked to be a sinking ship. In the face of all this adversity, the Swedish winger has risen to the challenge and elevated his game.

Since being called out on the 17th by Mougenel, Lysell has changed the narrative surrounding his play and potentially altered the trajectory of his career. Boston’s 2021 first-round pick has three goals, six assists, and nine points in the team’s last eight games. He’s been especially hot lately, with eight of those nine points coming in the previous five games.

What’s even more encouraging about Lysell’s reinvigorated performance? It’s impacting the team as a whole. In the eight games since that fateful December 17th press conference, Boston’s AHL affiliate has gone 6-2, outscoring opponents 40-27.

The most promising thing about Lysell’s game is that he’s taken the criticism levied against him by his coach and used it to improve how he plays. He seems to be putting more of an emphasis on puck possession and focusing on limiting his turnovers. He’s shown a willingness to utilize his teammates off the rush and rely less on his individual abilities.

The skilled forward doesn’t turn 21 until January 19th and is a top-three scorer on the team and a top-forty scorer in the AHL. He has 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists) through his first 31 games, on pace to shatter the 37 he registered in 54 games last season. With his recent hot streak, the Goteborg, Sweden native has reintroduced himself as one of Boston’s top prospects and one of the most promising skaters in the AHL.

I can’t emphasize enough how crucial this stretch has been for Lysell. The kind of pressure and expectations thrust upon his shoulders have conquered other players and ruined their development before it could even begin. The fact that he has responded to his coach, silenced the critics, and gotten his team back on track proves that he’s beginning to evolve into an elite prospect.