Is Fabian Lysell Option For Bruins In Brad Marchand’s Absence?

A vacant spot is open on the top line while Marchand recovers from hip surgery

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August 23

All eyes have been on Fabian Lysell since he was drafted by the Bruins in the first round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.

Could this be the year he makes it to Boston?

Lysell earned the bronze medal playing for Sweden in the World Junior Championship and was called the “lone bright spot” by The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler.

Lysell has yet to play with the Bruins or in Providence. General manager Don Sweeney hinted at the possibility of that happening last year after the B’s did not make a move for forward depth at the NHL trade deadline. The intriguing prospect had a successful season in the Western Hockey League and an even better playoff run with the Vancouver Giants.

The stars didn’t align for Lysell to see AHL or NHL action last year due to the Giants’ playoff run, but he continues to show his potential and what he could bring to a Bruins team that certainly could benefit from some help at the forward position.

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New head coach Jim Montgomery joined WEEI’s “Gresh & Keefe” during the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon on Tuesday afternoon and was asked about how he plans to utilize the top six with Brad Marchand out to begin the season after undergoing double hip surgery.

“If Marchy’s here he probably doesn’t have an opportunity, and if he’s going to play in the NHL he needs to play in the top six and get an opportunity to play with one of our elite centers,” Montgomery said during his appearance. “If he has a great camp he’s going to get that opportunity. That’s the great thing about the injury to Marchy is it opens up a door, he has to knock through that door. When that opportunity comes, earn your way into the NHL.”

Now it certainly won’t be an easy road for Lysell considering Pavel Zacha, who the Bruins traded for on Day 1 of free agency, also is a viable candidate to fill in on the top line. Even though Zacha never reached his full potential while with the New Jersey Devils, Montgomery thinks he would benefit from playing alongside Patrice Bergeron.

“I think bringing in a really good player, Pavel Zacha, introducing him to the Bruins way, I think an opportunity to start camp with Patrice Bergeron and learning how to compete and how to play the right way,” Montgomery said. “I mean, he does it already. That’s why we went and got him. He’s a talented hockey player that?s produced at the NHL level. Now here’s an opportunity to play with one of the best players in the league.”

Fans saw last season how well it worked for Jake DeBrusk when he moved to the top line, so it’s not unfathomable to think Zacha also would have some success with help from Bergeron.

Montgomery said at the end of the day it will come down to chemistry, but it’s probably Zacha’s spot to lose and Lysell’s spot to earn while Marchand recovers.

Thumbnail photo via /The Boston Bruins
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