The Boston Bruins announced a roster move on Monday, recalling Marc McLaughlin from the Providence Bruins to accompany the team on their upcoming road trip. Consequently, many people may question this move since the team has higher-ranked prospects hoping to get into some NHL action. However, McLaughlin got the call mainly because the lineup doesn’t have any significant holes to fill.
Despite missing Jake DeBrusk and now Tomas Nosek, the B’s continue to dominate opponents as a team, not relying on a single player(s) to get the job done. Moreover, team management made the right call with a guy like McLaughlin, who may not even get into any action this week, serving as a potential substitute in the event someone else goes down. Instead of calling up a top prospect like Fabian Lysell, who may only get in some practice time with the big club, they brought up a guy who already played in the NHL (11 games), whose promotion won’t disrupt his performance in the minors.
During Providence’s 2022-23 season, McLaughlin has seven goals and ten assists for 17 points in 39 games, ranking 10th in team scoring. Moreover, he fits a niche that the team has developed in Don Sweeney’s tenure as general manager, and that is he’s a local kid (North Billerica, MA) who starred at Boston College.
McLaughlin’s call-up today fits a narrative. Even though Vinni Lettieri is lighting it up in the minors with 33 points in 38 games, it wouldn’t have made any sense to deprive one of the league’s best teams of their leading scorer. Additionally, ripping Georgii Merkulov, Luke Toporowski, or Oskar Steen out of the lineup to sit in the press box on the road trip would not have benefitted their progression either.
Furthermore, some would argue that Lysell deserves a promotion after a successful start to his AHL career; however, after bombing at the recent World Junior Championship (no points), he’s been pretty quiet, with just two points in six games upon his return to the minors. Moreover, his name has been tossed around as a potential trade piece should the Bruins feel like acquiring a big-name player at the NHL deadline. Ultimately, he needs to stick to his development plan and regain the confidence he appears to have lost recently.
In the end, Bruins fans should take comfort in knowing today’s prospect call-up is just a precautionary move, and there is no need to dig too deep on this one. If McLaughlin manages to skate in a game or two, that would be great; however, if he never leaves the practice squad, the move means the Bruins survived another segment of the schedule without further injuries.
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