The Bruins on Saturday assigned Mason Lohrei to Providence, but the transaction hardly could be considered a true demotion.

Boston moved Matt Grzelcyk to the active roster, and the B’s felt it was more beneficial for Lohrei to get consistent playing time in the AHL rather than be a part-time player in the NHL.

“Just continue your development, you’re a big part of our future,” Montgomery told reporters, as seen on NESN’s pregame show. “Situation the way it is, he’s got to grow his game so that when gets back up here, he’s a full-time player.”

Bruins fans should be encouraged by what they saw during Lohrei’s 10-game stint in Boston. The 2020 second-round pick impressed in training camp in the preseason, and he proved he’s capable of being a top-four defenseman. However, there were growing pains, which were worked out with the coaching staff.

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“Well, we’ve been communicating, showing video to Mason after every game and I think (assistant coaches) Joe Sacco and assistant coach John McLean have done a really good job of showing him where he’s really good and where his game needs to evolve,” Montgomery told reporters Friday, per The Boston Globe’s Jim McBride. “And those things are reading rushes and being firm on puck battles. And also in our D zone, take away time and space.”

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While Lohrei proved he has the qualities of an NHL defenseman, it’s probably better for the rookie to get more playing time to work out what’s learned in Boston while playing in Providence. There’s certainly merit to keeping Lohrei around to learn from afar and get spot starts, but the best way to learn is through game reps.

“You got to be firmer,” Montgomery said Saturday. “As many plays as he makes with puck, he’s got to make more plays without the puck, just to be able to round out his game. People don’t even realize, he’s only been a defenseman since he’s 17. There’s trick to the trades, and they’re hard to learn in the NHL.”

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Lohrei scored four points with one goal and three assists in 10 games with Boston.

Featured image via Sam Navarro/USA TODAY Sports Images