Last night, the Boston Bruins ended up losing 3-2 to the New York Rangers in their second preseason tilt. A loss was arguably expected after seeing both team’s lineups, as the Rangers played some of their top players like Artemi Panarin, Jacob Trouba, Ryan Strome, K’ Andre Miller, and Kaapo Kakko. The Bruins, on the other hand, primarily ran with depth players and prospects.
Speaking of prospects, a few of the Bruins’ kids played very well last night. Thus, even with the team losing, it feels like a necessity to shine a light on each of them.
First off, Jack Studnicka showed last evening that he may be capable of holding an NHL job for the season. All off-season, people commented about him gaining 15 pounds of muscle over the summer. After seeing him on the ice, it’s rather apparent that it’s working out for him. He looked far stronger on the puck and with that, ended up being a much bigger force during the game. Even when just looking at him on the ice, he’s also noticeably larger.
The youth on the Boston Bruins are ready to be unleashed
With the departure of David Krejci, the Bruins need as many NHL-caliber centers as possible. Thus, Studnicka’s performance should bring a sense of optimism from fans. He was dominant offensively, as he had six shots and even put one in the back of the net after a beautiful feed from Fabian Lysell. Studnicka also added an assist from defenseman Urho Vaakanainen’s goal.
Now, let’s focus on Lysell for a minute as well. The Bruins selected Lysell with the 21st overall pick of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. Thus, he is still just an 18-year-old kid, but boy, he looked very solid. His setup that led to Studnicka’s goal showed so much confidence and poise. He’s been noted as being very creative offensively, and Bruin fans were able to get their first true look of that.
Lysell is expected to play for the Vancouver Giants of the WHL this season, as general manager Don Sweeney already stated. Yet, his development is absolutely essential, as the Bruins need another potential top-six right winger in their system. It has been one of their weakest positions, but if Lysell can continue to play like that, he should have a bright future with the team.
Lastly, Vaakanainen had a bit of a rough start with the Bruins last night, but his absolute rocket off the faceoff was fantastic.
This is a big year for the 22-year-old defenseman, as the Bruins need him to show real signs of improvement. The 2017 18th overall pick played just nine NHL games last season, where he recorded his first two points – both assists. However, he needs to continue to have performances like this to be considered for the NHL squad. John Moore has been making his case for the bottom-pair and Connor Clifton is also in the running, of course.
Nonetheless, it was another exciting night for the Bruins, even with the loss. These three youngsters all contributed to the B’s, and the team keep note of this. Yet, if I had to choose, the clear player of the game from them was Studnicka. Let’s see where the 22-year-old ends up this season.