Bruins prospect Fabian Lysell sets goal for 2023-24 season
Despite a flurry of depth signings made by the Bruins last month — and with a camp invite added to the list earlier this week — Bruins general manager Don Sweeney has made it clear that there’s an NHL opportunity there for any young player who reports to training camp and simply grabs hold of it.
That message has not been lost on 2021 first-round pick Fabian Lysell.
Skating on North American pro ice for the first time last year as a member of the P-Bruins last season, Lysell experienced the ups and downs of life as a prospect adjusting to a completely new environment.
On the board with 14 goals and 37 points in 54 AHL games a year ago, the 20-year-old Lysell was fueled by a hot start that featured eight goals and 19 points in his first 20 games with Providence.
But the wall came for Lysell following his return from the World Junior Championships, as he would score just six goals and 18 points in the 34 games that followed. And as if the second-half cooldown wasn’t bad enough, Lysell’s year ended on a truly sour note when he was concussed on a hit by Hartford’s Adam Clendening in the 2023 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Having to work your way through burnout can be bad enough for any young player in the league, and adding the often tricky nature of working back from a concussion can often lead to more frustration. Lysell seems to think he’s better off for the Providence experience, however, and has let it serve as a bit of fuel with camp around the corner.
“I think the focus for me is just that I’m gonna be a little more comfortable there now,” Lysell said in a one-on-one interview with Bruins team reporter Eric Russo as part of their annual ‘BearTracks’ series. “I know more people and I know the city a little bit better now. So for me, it’s just going to be to feel comfortable and have the confidence to go in there and prove that I’ve been developing since last year, take it day-by-day, and my [goal] at the end is to make the team.”
“I think I’ll be more comfortable now…take it day by day and the end [goal] is to make the team.”#NHLBruins prospect Fabian Lysell goes 1-on-1 with @erusso22 to chat about his summer training and goals for the upcoming season.#BearTracks🐾 | @Enterprise pic.twitter.com/Hfm8hTzbnJ— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) August 22, 2023
Given his size (Lysell checks in at 5-foot-11 and 176 pounds), the offseason focus has been an easy one for the Swedish wing.
“It’s obviously been, for me, to get stronger,” Lysell said of his offseason goals. “Wanna get a little bit bigger, but mostly stronger, so like, harder in my body. I feel like I’ve done a good job of doing that with the help of my trainers.
“I wanna build off one of my strengths which is the power and speed and all that. Those two and [with] a combination of good conditioning, I feel like I’ll be in good shape.”
Lysell has also focused on what it’ll take to be a stronger pro night-in and night-out in a league of condensed schedules, quick turnarounds, and undeniably long regular seasons.
“It’s a lot to take in [in] my first pro year, [but] I think the most important thing is going to be to have that reset button and have that preparation to recover faster and all that stuff,” Lysell admitted. “Because before I played like 60 games and then last year, I played almost 90 [games], so that’s a huge adjustment.”
As for making the Big B’s out of the gate in 2023-24, Lysell will certainly have his work cut out for him.
Hart Trophy finalist David Pastrnak sits atop the B’s right-wing depth chart, and there’s obviously no bumping him from that post. The Bruins also have a capable right-wing option in Jake DeBrusk, and DeBrusk is one several left-shooting forwards who have excelled at right wing, with Trent Frederic and Jakub Lauko also among that group. The Bruins also signed Morgan Geekie and Patrick Brown, two players who can play either center or right wing, and power-play specialist Alex Chiasson is reporting to Boston in search of an NHL contract.
Almost every player in that group has a leg up on Lysell in some fashion, be it because of their experience, their skill-set for a certain role the Bruins need filled, or their contract situation.
So for Lysell, it’s going to take a strong effort that by all means leaves Sweeney and the Bruins with no choice.
And he Lysell seems ready to start that conversation.
“It’s just been going better and better for each week, and I think I’m ready to get going here in September,” said Lysell.