BOSTON — Brandon Carlo has worked closely with Boston Bruins prospect Mason Lohrei since the Black and Gold returned to the ice this preseason, and the veteran defenseman has enjoyed the opportunity to do so.
“It’s been a lot of fun playing with him,” Carlo told reporters at Warrior Ice Arena on Tuesday morning, before a group of Bruins traveled to face the Buffalo Sabres in a preseason matchup. You can watch the preseason game on NESN+ starting at 7 p.m. ET.
“I feel like our communication is getting better and then from there, he’s had some really great moments moving the puck,” Carlo continued. “You can tell that he’s got that within his game. With our length and long sticks, hopefully we’ll be able to close a lot of those rushes off by the blue line and that’s something I’m looking to do (in Buffalo). But he’s definitely impressed me so far.”
Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery previously told reporters he’s been pleasantly surprised by Lohrei. The 22-year-old defenseman joined the Providence Bruins last season after he concluded his collegiate tenure at Ohio State.
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“What I like about him is his brain, his length, his feet,” Montgomery said Tuesday. “He has tremendous poise with the puck. Again, I think the benefit of him going to play in Providence and getting a lot of games and getting used to our system. He seems to be very comfortable now, this year, in playing fast defensively in our D-zone.
“I guess what I don’t know and we need to see at the NHL level is how many battles he’s going to win. How often is he going to win foot races to be first on first on puck? And how much does he help us in our transition offensively and defensively?”
A second-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, Lohrei showed flashes as a puck-moving defenseman in five games in Providence (one assist). He recorded 32 points (four games, 28 assists) in 40 games during his final season with the Buckeyes.
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