If you’ll allow me, this week I want to talk a little Mason Langenbrunner who, along with fellow Bruins’ prospect Andre Gasseau, is skating for the Fargo Force of the USHL.
There is a group of prospects that include Ty Gallagher, Roman Bychkov, Dustyn McFaul, Victor Berglund and others that have one thing in common: Late round picks that require several years of development and may or may not turn into NHL defencemen. Langenbrunner is on that list. We know that Berglund is now with the Providence Bruins and his time to prove he is an NHL’er has arrived.
Langenbrunner was drafted in the fifth round – 151st overall – at the 2020 NHL Entry Draft after a season of Minnesota High School Hockey skating for Eden Prairie High. He is the son of Bruins Director of Player Development and Director of Player Personnel Jamie Langenbrunner. Langenbrunner was the youngest player selected in the draft, making the cut off date for the 2020 draft by just one day.
After his draft, Langenbrunner went on to play another season with Eden Prairie High before jumping to the USHL this season. He is committed to play for Harvard University beginning next season. If Langenbrunner were to finish his full four years at Harvard, it would be six years between draft and turning Pro.
One of the first things that I am asked about Langenbrunner is: “does he have talent or did the Bruins pick him because he’s Jamie’s son?”
While the latter would give the Bruins some insight about character and such that other teams may not be privy too, Langenbrunner isn’t without tangible talent. At 6’3” he has good size but he also has the mobility to go with it, be it north-south or east-west. The basic foundation is there, but If I am being honest, I would say his mechanics need some coaching.
Langenbrunner is good on the breakout, capable of using good passing abilities, vision and an ability to skate out of his zone. He is an excellent stickhandler and can slice through the neutral zone and is able to gain the offensive blueline with possession. With his size and long reach, he is able to keep possession but when he gains the zone, he looks indecisive in his decision making – which with his vision and passing abilities raises questions. It could be that he lacks the confidence to try things at this level as opposed to high school hockey, or that he hasn’t caught up to the faster pace of the USHL.
Langenbrunner showed he had some intriguing offensive ability during the 2019-2020 season with Eden Prairie and NHL Scouts began paying attention. He has a very good wrister and a half-snap shot that he gets off quickly and on target. However, with his slapper, he seems to be a ‘put your head down and fire away’ type of shooter. It would benefit him to keep his head up while firing and looking to see where the traffic is.
He sees the ice extremely well and can keep possession while walking the blue line and open up passing lanes or take the shot himself. His vision is very good and he makes a good pass. He is getting very limited powerplay time with Trebor Griebel and Jakob Stender getting the bulk of the duties, but that’s an area where Langenbrunner should be able to put up points when given the opportunity.
Defensively is where he needs some work (where have you heard that before about 19-year-old defenders?) Langenbrunner is a risk taker but he’s going to need to reel that in to have success at the next level. He will need to work on his gaps as far too many times he is giving the opposition too much space and with his size and reach, that should be an asset going forward. I believe with good coaching and continuing to improve his skating will benefit him in those areas. He will also need to add much more muscle to his body and that will help him with battles along the walls and riding out the opposition. He can sometimes be seen chasing the play instead of protecting the house and that’s something the Bruins demand in their defencemen.
That said, I am not to fixated or worried about the production at this point. I want to see a player that bounces back from a mistake, shows improvement from the start of the season to the end of the season and then improvement year-over-year. If Langenbrunner can do that, then he will trend upwards. For now? It’s slowly heading in the right direction.
It’s too early to say what Langenbrunner will be as he moves up to higher level leagues. He will get good coaching and go up against some pretty good competition in the USHL. It’s going to take the full season before I will come to the conclusion that he is a two-way defenceman or likely headed towards being a shut down defender once he masters the defensive game.
And then he’s off to college where the whole process starts over again as the competition gets tougher.
As I said in the beginning, this is a long-term project.
Providence Bruins Player Stats
Providence Bruins Goalie Stats
Maine Mariners Stats
Coming up this week:
For the first time this season, we have eight games on a Wednesday!!
|CEHLARIK||Vs ADM||Vs SIB|
|BYCHKOV||Vs AVT||Vs SOC||Vs SAL|
|ARNESSON||Vs SKE||Vs ORE|
|MANTYKIVI||Vs TPS||Vs KOO|
|JELLVIK||Vs VAS||Vs BRY|
|GASSEAU||Vs SF||Vs TC||Vs TC|
|LANGENBRUNNER||Vs SF||Vs TC||Vs TC|
|BEECHER||Vs NIA||Vs NIA|
|LOHREI||Vs MRC||Vs MRC|
|BECKER||Vs BMJ||Vs BMJ|
|SCHMALTZ||Vs MIN||Vs MIN|
|DURAN||Vs DAR||Vs DAR|
|OLSON||Vs AKF||Vs AKF|
|MCFAUL||Vs WIS||Vs WIS|
|HARRISON||Vs OTT||Vs HAM|
|MAST||Vs FLT||Vs FLT||Vs SOO|
|LYSELL||Vs POR||Vs TC||Vs SPO|
|SVEDEBACK||Vs GB||Vs DM||Vs DM|
AROUND THE GLOBE
Not much to see here as 12 of the 19 skaters are riding pointless streaks.
Oskar Jellvik had his point streak snapped on Saturday at 12 games where he had 8 goals and 8 assists. He began a new streak on Sunday afternoon with a helper in Djurgardens 4-3 loss to Lulea HF.
Despite being a point-per-game player, Fabian Lysell has recorded points in back-to-back games just once this season. Needs to find some consistency. I can see where he will be once, he finds that consistency.
Ryan Mast is continuing to find his game at both ends of the ice and with Bruins GM Don Sweeney there to watch him live on the weekend proved he can play top minutes in all situations. He leads Sting defencemen in scoring and I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect him to be a .5 points-per-game player at this point.
Brett Harrison had his point streak end at 7 two weekends ago had points in 2 of 3 games this week on 2 goals and an assist and included the game tying goal yesterday against Kingston with 1:06 remaining and allowed his team to win it in overtime.
Philip Svedeback suffered his second regulation loss of the season Saturday and it wasn’t a good outing giving up 4 goals on 12 shots in 23 minutes of play. Not the bounce back game I was hoping to see from him.
After going on a little run (after a cold start) Mattias Mantykivi is once again cold going pointless in his last 6 games.
Despite missing the last two games with an injury, Andre Gasseau is still tied for the team lead with 6 goals for Fargo Force of the USHL and second in points. He entered last week on a two-game pointless streak.
If you’re reading here for the first time, the chart below shows what I believe a prospect’s chances of playing for the Boston Bruins are on a scale from zero to five. Many things come into play here including his projection, how his development curve is going and where he sits on the depth chart. This is not a reflection on whether he will become an NHL player, but a Bruin as the depth chart plays a major role there. For those who have been here before, notice that John Beecher is now a 5 out of 5.