The Boston Bruins have been a Stanley Cup contending team for a long time. The organization won the Cup in 2011 with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand as the remaining core players.
To maintain that competitive status the cost has been trading draft picks and prospects. The Bruins have had only two first-round picks in the previous five drafts and as a result, their pipeline is rather thin. The Bruins have tried to offset that by signing some notable college free agents, but the fact is the Bruins have one of the worst prospect pools in the NHL.
1. Fabian Lysell, RW – Vancouver Giants (WHL)
Drafted: 2021 round one, 21st overall by Boston Bruins
The skilled offensive winger had an impressive North America debut playing in the WHL scoring 62 points in 53 games with the Vancouver Giants. The undersized winger flashed some feistiness in his game as well racking up 52 PIMS. His game was even better in the playoffs where he posted 21 points in 12 games. Lysell is still eligible to return to junior but is able to play in the AHL as he was drafted out of Europe. The Bruins have some options for where he will play in the coming season.
2. Mason Lohrei, LD – Ohio State University (NCAA)
Drafted: 2020 round two, 58th overall by Boston Bruins
After playing his D+1 season back in the USHL, Lohrei made his NCAA freshman debut last year with Ohio State and was very impressive. The big, smooth skating defender posted 29 points in 31 games and was named to the Big Ten All-Rookie Team. Lohrei will return for his sophomore season but could turn pro at the conclusion of the school year. He needs some development in the defensive zone yet, but he is trending up quickly.
3. Jack Studnicka, C – Providence Bruins (AHL)
Drafted: 2017 round two, 53rd overall by Boston Bruins
Studnicka is trending in the wrong direction. Despite still being only 23 years old and with career AHL stats of 96 points in 117 games, it is now or never for Studnicka. The door was wide open for him to inherit the second-line center position last year when David Krejci departed for Europe. The Bruins gave him the opportunity and he failed to seize it. Now he is no longer waiver exempt and needs to crack the roster full-time.
4. John Beecher, C – Michigan University (NCAA)
Drafted: 2019 round one, 30th overall by Boston Bruins
Beecher played a depth role for Michigan in a checking line role behind their offensive superstars. He flashed some offensive upside after signing with the Bruins when the Wolverines’ season ended scoring three goals and five points in nine AHL games in Providence. Beecher projects to play a similar role in the NHL as a third-line checking center with size and some offensive upside.
5. Matthew Poitras, C – Guelph Storm (OHL)
Drafted: 2022 round two, 54th overall by Boston Bruins.
His rookie season in the OHL was wiped out by the pandemic. His draft year, and by default rookie season, was solid with 50 points in 68 games with the Storm. Poitras has two more years remaining of junior eligibility before he turns pro. While he has a wait to get to the pro level, he is playing a pro-style game at 18 years old.
6. Jack Ahcan, Providence Bruins (AHL)
Drafted: Free agent signed in 2020
The Bruins are hoping to repeat their success with Torey Krug who they also signed as a free agent who has similar NCAA stats and size. Ahcan had a solid rookie season with 23 points in 46 games in Providence and earned a six-game NHL tour where he scored his first career goal. With Charlie McAvoy missing the first few months of the season, Ahcan could get a good look with Boston to start the year.
7. Marc McLaughlin, C – Boston College (NCAA)
Drafted: Free agent signed 2022
The undrafted prospect from Massachusetts played his four-year NCAA tour in the Bruins backyard with Boston College. In the last two years as Captain, he scored 56 points in 57 games. McLaughlin signed with Boston and scored three goals in the final 11 regular season games. He will get some AHL development seasoning as a rookie this year but has the potential to quickly develop into a bottom-six player in the NHL.
8. Riley Duran, C – Providence College (NCAA)
Drafted: 2020 round six, 182nd overall by Boston Bruins
Duran had a good freshman season with 19 points in 38 games. He had a breakout performance in the August rescheduled WJC with USA scoring five points in five games. Duran will play a bigger role in Providence as a sophomore.
9. Oskar Jellvik, LW/C – Djurgardens IF (J20 Nationell)
Drafted: 2021 round five, 149th overall by Boston Bruins
The Swedish forward will make his North American debut as he has committed to Boston College. Jellvik turned some heads in the Bruins rookie camp and will make the adjustment to North American smaller ice and spend some time in the gym. He is a project, but there is some potential here.
10. Matias Mantykivi, C – Ilves (Liiga)
Drafted: 2019 round six, 185th overall by Boston Bruins
In his second full season in the Liiga, Mantykivi had a bit of a breakout jumping from nine points in 43 games to 31 points in 51 games. The sixth-round selection from the 2019 draft remains in Finland and unsigned, but if his production continues to spike, he could be in North America soon.
Brett Harrison – Heading back to Oshawa for his final season of junior. Could have a big year.
Ty Gallagher – Offensive defenseman scored 16 points as a freshman with the Terriers.
Georgi Merkulov – Another NCAA Free agent, the Russian already has two seasons of development in the USHL and NCAA, next stop is the AHL. He is on the rise.
Brandon Bussi – One more NCAA free agent (Spot the trend?) The Michigan alumni played in five AHL games to end the year going 3-2 with a shutout.
Ryan Mast – A big, right-shot defenseman had a breakout year in the OHL with 31 points and 59 PIMs.