Bruins Prospects Report: Bussi, Harrison, Lysell, Lohrei & More

Like the big club in Boston, the Providence Bruins had a season that ended up with an Atlantic Division championship. Unlike the big club in Boston, the P-Bruins did not do it in historic fashion, however, they did it with some of their younger players making strides in the 2022-23 regular season. As division winners, Providence will sit back and wait for their first American Hockey League (AHL) playoff opponent to be determined as it will be the lowest remaining seed from the opening round this week.

Boston Bruins Prospects Report

In this edition of the Bruins Prospects Report, Providence announces their award winners for the season, a forward that shows a lot of promise led them in scoring, some of the Bruins’ top prospects had mixed results in the regular season, and more.

Providence Announces 2022-23 Award Winners

Prior to the regular season final against the Springfield Thunderbirds on April 16 the clinched the Atlantic Division championship, the P-Bruins announced their award winners for this season. Some of the awards handed out were no surprises.

Goalie Brandon Bussi was named Team MVP after he went 22-5-4 with a 2.40 goals against average (GAA) and a .924 save percentage (SV%). He was recently called up to Boston to backup Jeremy Swayman in a couple of games, but did not see any action. Signed as an undrafted free agent out of Western Michigan University in April of 2022, he has been a pleasant surprise this season. Speaking of undrafted free agents, Georgii Merkulov took home a pair of awards. He won the Leading Scorer Award and Rookie of the Year Award after putting up impressive numbers in 67 games. He finished with 24 goals and 31 assists. He signed last season after one impressive year at Ohio State and it will be interesting to see what the Bruins do with him this summer, especially if there are some players in Boston who will not be back next season.

Brandon Bussi Boston Bruins
Brandon Bussi, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Jack Ahcan, who had five goals and 31 assists this season in 68 games, won the Best Defensemen Award, beating out Connor Carrick who had an impressive game for Boston in their 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on April 9. Carrick did win the Plus/Minus Award with a plus-15. Other award winners included Vinni Lettieri (Three Stars Award), Joona Koppanen (Fan Favorite Award), Kyle Keyser (Hendricks Memorial Fan Appreciation Award), and Josiah Didier (Colby Cave Memorial Award).

Harrison, Brunet & Lohrei Get AHL Games Under Their Belt

Top defensive prospect Mason Lohrei signed an Amateur Tryout Agreement on March 31 after his sophomore season at Ohio State ended in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Shortly after that, Brett Harrison joined Providence after the Windsor Spitfires were stunningly swept out of the first round of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) playoffs by the Kitchener Rangers. Frederic Brunet signed an ATO on April 10 to join the P-Bruins after his season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) ended. All three made impacts in the lineup for coach Ryan Mougenel.

Related: Bruins’ Prospect Mason Lohrei Offers Intriguing Option in 2023-24

Latest News & Highlight

Lohrei has the most number of games under his belt with five and he has one assist. The second-round pick, 58th overall, in the 2020 Entry Draft, has adjusted well to the professional game in his short time with some nice plays in the defensive end and making the smooth transition to the offensive game. He is strong on the puck, an offensive defenseman, and depending on what happens this summer on defense, he will be pushing for an NHL spot next fall in training camp.

Harrison registered an assist in his first game with Providence in their 5-3 win over the Bridgeport Islanders on April 15. The third-round pick in the 2021 Draft and 85th overall had 34 goals and 35 assists with the Spitfires and Oshawa Generals this season. The 6-foot-2, 182-pound center plays a solid two-way game and should get more experience in the upcoming AHL playoffs.

Brunet was picked in the fifth round, 132nd overall in last year’s draft in Montreal, and like Harrison, he picked up his first points in the same game against the Islanders. He set up Luke Toporowski for a power-play goal. Brunet, who added a second assist in the game, is a defenseman that fits the Bruins mold. He is physical, takes the body whenever he has a chance, and has an upside offensively. In 66 games combined with the Victoriaville Tigers and Rimouski Océanic, he had 16 goals and 57 assists. His development will certainly be one to watch in the next couple of seasons.

Lysell Finishes First Pro Regular Season Fifth in Scoring

Top prospect Fabian Lysell played in 54 games this season in the AHL and missed a number of games to illness, injuries, and the 2023 World Junior Championship. Despite all of that, the 21st overall pick in the 2021 Entry Draft had 14 goals and 23 assists.

Fabian Lysell Boston Bruins
Fabian Lysell, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Those numbers were good enough to have him finish fifth on Providence in points. After a standout season in 2021-22 with the Vancouver Giants in the Western Hockey League (WHL), Lysell has his first pro regular season under his belt and after the playoffs, will look to try and earn a spot on the Boston roster in 2023-24.

It was a good regular season for Providence and now they turn their attention to the Calder Cup Playoffs against an undetermined opponent. They have had a lot of junior players join the last couple of weeks and getting them some pro experience in the postseason will be a plus for their development going forward.

Sign up for our free ‘Bruins Substack Newsletter‘ for all the latest.