Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!!
There isn’t a whole lot to report on thanks to the holidays. The biggest news is that the World Junior Championships began yesterday and Bruins prospect Fabian Lysell is a part of Team Sweden. But first, a little bit of housekeeping.
Roman Bychkov is no longer on loan to Amur Khabarovsk of the KHL and is now part of the roster full time. On Tuesday he suited up for the first time in exactly a month and on Wednesday suited up in back-to-back games for just the second time this season and on Christmas day suited up for three straight games for the first time. He’s appeared in just 16 of Amur’s 44 games on the season and the squad sits in 10th place in the Conference, two points out of a playoff spot, but have played three more games than Barys, the team they are chasing.
Bychkov averaged 23.3 shifts in the three games in 14:39 TOI, both well above his season averages. The most interesting stat though is that Bychkov is the only defenceman on the team that is a plus player and on a team that is a minus-29 as a group. In all three contests, Bychkov kept his game simple and focused on his defensive game, trying not to do too much offensively. He retrieved pucks in his zone and transitioned it up ice quickly, held his position effectively, kept his gaps tight and took away seams and passes. The opportunity he’s been waiting for has arrived. Now it’s up to him to seize that opportunity. I do wonder if his time would have been better spent in the VHL developing rather than limited time (to date) in the KHL.
*Note: As I finished typing this, Amur won their matchup this morning against SKA 3-2. Bychkov assisted on Amur’s first period game tying goal and went on to have 18:15 TOI on 24 shifts.
For Oskar Jellvik his team Djurgardens IF finished in third place in the Norra (North) Division after 27 games which guarantees them a birth in the playoffs in the Top-10 group. The J20 Nationell playoff format is a long and complicated one, but the top 5 teams in the Norra Division and the top 5 teams in the Sodra (South) Division qualify for the top-10 while the remaining teams play in the “continuation group”. The top six teams in the continuation group will join the top-10 group for the playoffs and chase the Anton Cup. As I said, it’s complicated, but at this point in the schedule, Jellvik will be in the playoffs and from this point on his team will only play the other 9 teams in the top-10 twice which will take them to 45 games. In other words, his schedule just got tougher. The schedule resumes on January 7, 2022.
As for Lysell, he missed the opening game of the World Junior Championships due to “an illness not COVID related.” That didn’t stop some Bruins fans taking to social media with comments like “it says a lot about the organization when our only prospect can’t crack the lineup.” Sadly, there were plenty of comments similar to that.
The Truth is, Lysell doesn’t turn 19 until January 19, 2022 and has another year of World Junior Eligibility. Some fans put too much stock into this tournament. It is just a part of a year long process. Even if this wasn’t an illness related issue, let’s remember that.
The Swedes are hopeful that he will be ready for tonight’s matchup versus Slovakia at 9:30 pm ET.
Providence Bruins Player Stats
Providence Bruins Goalie Stats
Maine Mariners Stats
Coming up this week:
It’s not a full schedule this week with the holidays, but there are also postponed games due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the case of Lysell, I have shown his World Junior Championship schedule – the “QF” on Saturday is the beginning of the Quarter Finals. For Schmaltz and McFaul, their scheduled games on Saturday and Thursday respectively are exhibition games.
For those wanting to know how to watch the WJC: All games are broadcast in Canada on TSN and RDS. In the United States, all games will be on the NHL Network. The times for Lysell’s games are 9:30 PM ET on Monday, 9:30 PM ET on Wednesday and 4:30 PM ET on Friday. The Quarter Finals on Saturday are at 2:30 PM, 5:00 PM, 7:30 PM and 10:00 PM all ET with opponents to be determined.
|CEHLARIK||Vs DIN||At TRA|
|BYCHKOV||At SKA||Vs ADM|
|ARNESSON||At SKE||Vs LIN|
|MANTYKIVI||Vs TPS||Vs LUK|
|BEECHER||Vs MTU||Vs WMU|
|LOHREI||Vs LIU||Vs LIU|
|DURAN||Vs BGS||Vs W/Y|
|OLSON||At MNS||Vs MNS|
|HARRISON||Vs OTT||At NB||Vs NB|
|MAST||Vs LDN||At LDN||Vs WSR|
|LYSELL||Vs SVK||Vs USA||Vs SUI||QF|
**In a media release via email last night, the OHL announced that the three upcoming games for the Sarnia Sting (Mast) will be postponed due to COVID Protocol. Oshawa’s game (Harrison) on Tuesday is postponed, but no announcement on the two games later on in the week versus North Bay.
AROUND THE GLOBE
Not much here this week on who is hot and who is cold due to the lack of games. Just a special note: Next week’s Monday Morning Prospect Update won’t be available until Tuesday as I try and secure a couple of players for a podcast next Monday. I will have updates via Twitter when I have more information.