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5 Players to Watch In Boston Bruins Training Camp: Part II

The Boston Bruins worked through an offseason navigating a salary cap crunch that left them trimming payroll by selling off assets (i.e., Taylor Hall) for pennies on the dollar. Additionally, losses of their first and second-line centres to retirement made it clear that roster construction for the 2023-24 season will be tricky. Getting cap-compliant during the offseason, Don Sweeney handed out a bevy of league-minimum free-agent deals. And for the team to be competitive, there will be a stronger reliance on prospects in AHL Providence. There will be more available roster spots at the start of this training camp than in recent memory.

When the Bruins broke camp at Warrior Arena in previous seasons, the final roster construction was a foregone conclusion. Open roster spots for the taking were as rare as the dodo. This year’s camp will see a noticeable uptick in competition for the last few available roster spots. The roster openings are mainly in the bottom six forward groupings and what could be a revolving door in the third defensive pairing.

Head coach Jim Montgomery and General Manager Don Sweeney will get extended looks at free-agent veterans and hopeful prospects who have yet to take the final big step. Some candidates who will get looks for the available roster spots follow here in Part Two. Highlighted are two former first-round selections, an undrafted free agent, and two recently signed veterans to PTOs.


Boston Bruins Training Camp Players Eyeing Roster Spots

Fabian Lysell

As the 2022-23 season kicked off, it was a matter of when, not if, Fabian Lysell would get the call to Boston. The 20-year-old Swede proceeded to have a Jekyll and Hyde-like season in Providence. Lysell was on a point-per-game pace and living up to the hype as Boston’s 2021 first-round selection before heading off to compete in the IIHF World Junior Championship. His production dipped dramatically amid fears of burnout upon returning to Providence. Lysell tallied just 18 points in his final 34 games in Providence, and his two-way game regressed as the season burned on. Compounding Lysell’s second-half dropoff, the Swede suffered a concussion that ended his season during the second round of the AHL playoffs. Heading into 2023-24, Lysell still ranks as Boston’s top prospect, and with a strong camp, hopes to erase a trying first professional season and make the big club.

John Beecher

This player in Boston Bruins training camp is looking to make a case for himself. The search for internal depth at centre starts with finding where John Beecher fits, as the Bruins start life without Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. After his first pro season, the 22-year-old University of Michigan product made a strong case for himself. Beecher struggled at the beginning of the 2022-23 AHL season but righted things. He produced 14 of his 23 season points in his final 30 games and became a mainstay on Providence’s PK unit. He earned big minutes late in tight games, highlighting how much his game improved during the season. The 2019 first-rounder used his size (6’3″, 215 lbs) and speed to his advantage. His development led many to believe he would have a legitimate shot at securing a roster spot this coming season.

Marc McLaughlin

Another centre looking to give Don Sweeney much-needed depth is Marc McLaughlin, the former captain of the Boston College Eagles. He set Bruins fans’ imaginations ablaze with three goals in 11 games with the B’s in 2022. McLaughlin played 66 games with Providence last season as he learned the Bruins’ system in-depth. McLaughlin also struggled out of the gate but got his game right and made positive strides as the season progressed. McLaughlin became one of Providence’s best three-zone players and tallied 20 of his 30 points in his final 33 games. McLaughlin’s development is best served with further seasoning in the AHL as Boston looks to implement young talent into the organization.


Two Veterans Aiming for Fresh Starts

Alex Chiasson

Alex Chiasson will look to push veterans and prospects for a roster spot after signing a PTO on August 23rd. Chiasson has championship experience with the Washington Capitals, where he lifted the Stanley Cup in 2018. He has played at centre and wing over his 11-year NHL career. In line with most of Sweeney’s offseason additions, Chiasson is a cheap signing with little downside to his PTO. Chiasson is a long shot at securing a spot with Boston but will push competition among his teammates. If Chiasson hopes to obtain a place inside the organization, his veteran experience would be welcomed in Providence.

Danton Heinen

The second veteran in Boston Bruins training camp is someone with familiarity. Former Bruin Danton Heinen signed his PTO on September 5th as Don Sweeney added another bargain piece. The 28-year-old Langley, BC native spent five years in the Bruins organization from 2016 to 2020. After his trade from Boston in 2020, Heinen spent time with Anaheim (2020-21) and Pittsburgh (2021-23). He set a career-high in goals with 18 in 2021-22 with the Penguins. Heinen also has a history with Bruins’ coach Jim Montgomery, spending two years with Montgomery at the University of Denver. The Bruins hope Heinen’s familiarity with the Bruins’ system and playing for Montgomery will reignite him. Heinen, like Chiasson, will push fringe roster veterans and prospects to secure a spot on Montgomery’s squad.

Main Photo: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports



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