An assist, a win, an attaboy from your head coach. It’s hard for Mason Lohrei to ask for much more out of his NHL debut.
The 22-year-old defensemen was thrown right into a big leafy fire on Thursday night, getting the start alongside Brandon Carlo against the high-powered Toronto Maple Leafs. Fellow rookie Matt Poitras also got the start. It was a small signal that the post-Patrice Bergeron era might not be the wasteland we thought it could be.
Lohrei certainly looks like he belongs in the NHL, and then some. He registered an assist for his first career point to help the Bruins open the scoring, faking a shot and drawing three defenders before slipping it to Carlo, who found a seam to make the centering pass to Pavel Zacha for the goal.
WATCH: Mason Lohrei Gets First Career Point
Pavel Zacha opens the scoring for Boston with just over a minute to play in the first period 🐻 pic.twitter.com/DbVJ8qGXpY— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 3, 2023
Lohrei’s most immediate talent and highest potential come in the offensive zone, where he was most active on Thursday. But he was solid enough across the full 200 feet to earn high praise from head coach Jim Montgomery.
“He was dynamite,” Montgomery said. “He played really well. His poise with the puck, in all three zones, was very noticeable. Made a lot of intelligent hockey plays.”