Unless you are talking generational talents like Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews, it’s rare that an 18-year-old hockey player steps into the National Hockey League and makes an immediate and significant impact in the best league in the world.
NHL teams are burdened with the task of what is best for the player and team long term. For the Bruins, they believe that for Fabian Lysell – their first-round pick in the 2021 Entry Draft, that the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League is the best option for both parties.
The wheels were set in motion for the reassignment to Junior when the Giants opened up an import spot on their roster (WHL teams are only allowed to carry two imports on their roster) by trading Marko Stracha to Kelowna for a fifth-round pick.
Shortly thereafter, CapFriendly’s transaction page indicated that the Bruins have reassigned Lysell to the Giants.
The Bruins made the news official today. They also sent Brent Harrison, Boston’s third round pick in 2021 back to the Ontario Hockey League with the Oshawa Generals. The moves also means Lysell’s entry level contract will slide this year and will be under Bruins control for four years instead of three. If Lysell plays in either the AHL or WHL for the 2022-2023 season, it will slide once again.
There is sure to be some mixed reaction among fans, especially after Lysell did well at Development Camp, the Prospect Challenge and the Bruins main camp and exhibition games. However, these eyes say that while we saw what Lysell could eventually become as a pro hockey player, there were some things that he needed time to further develop. One must remember, he wasn’t going up against a full NHL lineup in the games he appeared in.
Of course, many will ask why not the Providence Bruins instead of Vancouver? Well, Lysell has off ice things that are new to him as well as on ice. The native of Gteborg, Sweden is new to North America. The culture and way of life is different than being raised overseas. The food, the people, it’s a lot to get accustomed to as an 18-year-old. And concentrating on hockey at the same time.
In Vancouver, Lysell will have a great coach in Michael Dyck, who has been head coach with the Giants since 2018. Dyck has 14 years experience as a WHL coach and has served with the Giants in many capacities. He has a wealth of international experience with Team Canada as he has served as an assistant and head coach from IIHF Under-18 to Hlinka-Gretzky to World Juniors.
Where my interest is piqued is with the Giants strength and conditioning coach Jordan MacKenzie. He has six years of experience with the Vancouver Canucks as assistant strength and condition coach and over a dozen years with the Giants. He has worked at Delta Hockey Academy and has worked with many elite athletes. His list of degrees is quite impressive. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education and Coaching specializing in Kinesiology. He holds a high five certificate in NCCP (level 1) and BCRPA in fitness theory weight training and personal training. Lysell has all the tools to be an elite hockey player but what he lacks is strength, and I couldn’t imagine a better place for him to be.
Hard to imagine that Lysell needs to work on his skating, but should the need arise at any time, Barb Adelbaum will be right there in his backyard. She has over 40 years experience coaching hockey players and figure skaters and has coached former NHL superstar Pavel Bure. She has also worked with almost 1000 NHL players throughout her career. She may come in handy should adding muscle affect his skating in any way. After all, you can never stop working on aspects of your game.
The Giants are, probably in the top three landing spots in the CHL for development. Lysell can’t go wrong there.