With the minor league and college hockey seasons well underway, it’s time for another Boston Bruins Prospects Report here at The Hockey Writers. In this edition, we look at how a 2021 first-round pick is faring, as well as two members of the Providence Bruins in the American Hockey League (AHL), and one prospect looking to finish his college career off on a good note.
Lysell Getting Feet Under Him With Giants
Boston’s first-round pick in July’s Entry Draft, Fabian Lysell, had his best game in his first season with the Vancouver Giants in the Western Hockey League (WHL) recently. In an Oct. 29, 7-2, win over Kelowna Rockets, Lysell was part of the Giants offensive explosion with a goal and three assists.
Lysell, who plays in all situations for the Giants, has two goals and six assists in six games. Three of his six assists have come on the power play. The 21st pick by the Bruins has been getting better and better in each game and the more games he gets under his belt, his confidence is growing. Lysell showed some flashes at the Prospects Challenge in Buffalo in September and even in training camp and preseason games he played in for Boston. A gifted goal-scorer, the future is certainly bright for Lysell.
Froden Scores First North American Goals
In June, the Bruins signed Jesper Froden to a one-year contract. The 27-year-old had a good showing at the Prospects Challenge in Buffalo in September, before impressing in training camp and a couple of the preseason games he played in Boston. He was a victim of a numbers game in front of him and was sent to the P-Bruins.
After struggling in his first five AHL games, Froden scored his first two goals in North America on Oct. 29 in a 4-3 victory over the Charlotte Checkers. Froden scored a first-period power play goal, before scoring what turned out to be the game-winning goal early in the third period.
Despite not scoring in the first few games for Providence, Froden has played well. It would not be surprising to see him get called up at some point this season should injuries continue to mount in Boston. He does have an impressive offensive game as he scored 22 goals and had 14 assists last season for Skelleftea AIK in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) in 52 games.
Steen Returns to Providence With a Bang
Oskar Steen made his season debut in Boston on Oct. 24 in the Bruins 4-3 win over the San Jose Sharks when Craig Smith and Nick Foligno were out injured. After spending some time following the game in Boston, Steen returned to Providence on Oct. 30 and made his presence felt early and often. In a 6-4 loss to the Bridgeport Islanders, Steen had a hand in each of the P-Bruins goals with two goals and two assists.
Sometimes, all a young player needs is a taste of an NHL game to get them going. Steen, who also had a good training camp and preseason with the Bruins, is someone who saw his stock rise last season in the AHL’s shortened 25-game season. With the NHL season just seven games old for Boston, more injuries are bound to happen, which should open the door for Steen, who had an assist against the Sharks, to return to the NHL. It was just one game, but he showed he is more than ready to handle regular NHL shifts.
Keyser Inconsistent in Providence
Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark have been handling the goaltending duties in the first seven games for the Bruins, but if one of them gets injured, Kyle Keyser would be the next guy called up. In his first full season in Providence, the Coral Springs, Florida native has been up and down.
In six games, Keyser has allowed 16 goals, but in a 4-3 win over Charlotte on Oct. 29, Keyser tied a career-high with 31 saves. He previously made 31 saves on April 10, 2021, against the Hartford Wolf Pack. This season, he has a 2.72 goals-against average (GAA) with a .902 save percentage (SV%). Not exactly something the Bruins want to see if one of their two goalies in Boston goes down with an injury.
Becker Producing at Arizona State
In his final season at the University of Michigan in 2020-21, Jack Becker struggled for the Wolverines with just four goals and five assists in 23 games. With another year of eligibility, he transferred to Arizona State University for his final season and is off to a good start with the Sun Devils.
The Bruins 195th pick in the seventh round of the 2015 Entry Draft has already tied his season-goal total from last season with four and he has three assists for the 6-4 Sun Devils. Becker scored two off his four goals in a season-opening split against the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. Arizona State coach Greg Powers has been impressed with Becker’s all-around game early in the season, leading to the graduate student earning the “ultimate warrior award” he received after ASU’s win over St. Thomas of Minnesota on Oct. 29.
“This is our ultimate warrior award,” said Powers. “It is given to the player that does not necessarily score all the goals or gets all the points, but blocks shots.”
After struggling with Michigan, both on the ice and with his health, it certainly is a promising sight to see Becker playing with confidence with Arizona State. He’s doing the little things, plus helping offensively.
Overall, several Bruins prospects have had a good first month with their respective teams. Keep an eye out here at The Hockey Writers for the Bruins Prospect Report, which will keep you informed on how the Black and Gold’s prospects are doing during the 2021-22 season.
Scott Roche covers the Boston Bruins for The Hockey Writers. A frequent user of the Oxford comma. Scott has been a sports writer for 25 years for different sites and daily newspapers. Writing started out as a hobby, but it has become a passion for Scott over the years.