BOSTON BRUINS MONDAY MORNING PROSPECT UPDATE WEEK ENDING DECEMBER 19, 2021

It was a quiet week for Boston Bruins prospects. Some European Leagues have already begun their holiday breaks, Fabian Lysell missed all four games last week as he is with Team Sweden preparing for the World Junior Championship Under-20, Brett Harrison played Friday and Saturday but Oshawa’s Sunday matchup was postponed and both of Ryan Mast games were postponed last week as a few Ontario Hockey League teams are going through Covid protocol and more than a few NCAA teams have begun their Holiday breaks. This week will be even quieter as only the KHL will be playing before Christmas Day.

Now is as good a time as any to talk a little about the oldest prospects playing in North America. No, not Mason Lohrei (it’s a joke) but Jack Becker, who at age 24 had the opportunity to play another season in the NCAA because of the Covid-19 pandemic last season. Becker had spent the prior 4 seasons with the Michigan Wolverines, the last one as captain.  I don’t know that there was much of an opportunity for Becker to remain with the Wolverines this season and whether he felt the same way but he ended up joining the Arizona State Sun Devils.

The Bruins selected Becker in the seventh round with the 195th overall pick. The selection was made knowing that Becker was going to be a long-term project but there was no guarantee he would play in the NHL. In fact, there was a better chance he would not. Everything would have to fall perfectly into place.

The size factor was enticing to the Bruins. He was big but lanky but as a kid coming out of high school, he had plenty of room to add some very much needed bulk. The Bruins loved how much he crashed the net (they could sure use that now) but he was never a driver of play, but more someone you put on a line as a complimentary piece.

Playing in the Big-10 for 4 seasons with Michigan, Becker was never a huge point producer, never finishing with more than 8 goals or 15 points in a season and finished his 4 seasons with .41 points-per-game. He’s already surpassed that with the Sun Devils this season and looks as though he will surpass his most goals in a season of 8. He currently has 5 through 19 games.

His skating is okay and he has some first step acceleration. He was also noted for having a good shot and soft hands in close, but the offense never materialized. That begs the question: What will the Bruins do with Becker?

His NCAA eligibility is over once his season in Arizona ends and the Bruins will have until August 15, 2022 to make a decision on what to do with Becker. At best, his size and style of play tops him out as a fourth liner who can provide energy and sustained pursuit of the puck with an ability to keep pucks in the offensive zone – provided his linemates are similarly capable. But he’s not going to provide much offense. At worst, he can be an effective career AHL player that can provide leadership to younger players.

Other than the size factor, I can’t honestly pinpoint an asset Becker possesses that says he’ll be an NHL player. Players that bring his style are a dime a dozen. And of course, there is the age factor. By the time the Bruins need to make a decision on Becker, he will be 25 years of age and at that point, there isn’t much more development to come.

I’m not sure that’s worth investing a contract spot in and I will admit that I don’t know if the Bruins feel the same way.

INSERT STAT CHART HERE

Providence Bruins Player Stats

Providence Bruins Goalie Stats

Maine Mariners Stats

Coming up this week:

PLAYERMONTUEWEDTHUFRISATSUN
CEHLARIK Vs TOR Vs MET  Vs JOK
BYCHKOVVs ADM Vs NEFVs NEF Vs LOK 
ARNESSON      Vs ROG
MANTYKIVI      Vs HPK
JELLVIK       
GASSEAU       
LANGENBRUNNER       
KUNTAR       
BEECHER       
LOHREI       
BECKER       
SCHMALTZ       
DURAN       
OLSON       
MCFAUL       
GALLAGHER       
HARRISON       
MAST       
LYSELL       
SVEDEBACK       

AROUND THE GLOBE

WHO’S HOT:

Fabian Lysell missed all four of his games with the Vancouver Giants last week as he is in Red Deer Alberta preparing to represent Sweden and the World Junior Championship Under-20. Lysell enters the tournament carrying a hot hand with 7 goals and 7 assists in his last 8 Western Hockey League games.

WHO’S WARM:

Brett Harrison enters the holiday break with 4 goals and 5 assists in his last 5 games. His shooting percentage is now at 18.3%.

Riley Duran has a modest 2 game point streak heading into the break on 2 goals and 2 assists. The freshman is now 6th in scoring with Boston University.

Matias Mantykivi rides a 4-game point streak with 2 goals and 2 assists before heading into the break. The often hot again cold again prospect has 5 goals and 10 helpers in 30 games on the season playing in Finland’s top league. That places Mantykivi 7th in team scoring, but only 3 points behind the leader.

Mason Lohrei is no longer leading Ohio State in scoring however he continues to drive play with 3 assists in his last 4 games. Lohrei hasn’t scored since November 6 in a game versus Penn State. But as long as he continues to drive play from the backend and continues to improve in his own zone, he’s trending upwards.

After ending a goalless streak of 7 games, Andre Gasseau has 2 goals in his last 4 games. Despite the scoring slump, his 8 goals are second on the Fargo Force while his 13 points have him in fourth on the team. Fargo is just not a very good team having the third worst points percentage in the USHL.

WHO’S COLD:

The Michigan Wolverines did not play last week; hence John Beecher is still riding a 9-game pointless streak. While Michigan is a top team in the NCAA and was an early favorite to win it all, Minnesota State, Quinnipiac and North Eastern are going to give the Wolverines a run for their money. They, and the Bruins are going to need Beecher to produce something.

Peter Cehlarik remains pointless in 4 games and just 2 goals and 2 assists in his last 12 games. That is far below the numbers he put up early in the KHL season.  

Roman Bychkov and Philip Svedeback remain out with injuries for their respective clubs.

The following chart shows what I believe each prospects chances are that they will one day play for the Bruins. It doesn’t reflect their chances of playing in the NHL as who is ahead of them on the depth chart and under contract with the Bruins is taken into consideration. In other words, they could be blocked because of depth at a certain position.

The biggest change here is to Oskar Jellvik who committed to Boston College for the 2023-2024 season. There is always some concern with drafting Europeans and the chances that they come to North America, but Jellvik’s commitment makes his stock rise.  

And of course, major consideration is given to a player’s projection now and what it was during his draft year and how that player is developing.

Follow me on Twitter @dominictiano

Published by Dominic Tiano

Following the Ontario Hockey League players eligible for the NHL Draft. I provide season-long stats, updates and player profiles as well as draft rankings.

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