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Lysell vs. Studnicka: Comparing the Bruins’ top two prospects

Boston’s two young right wingers might be competing for the final roster spot

Boston Bruins v Washington Capitals
Jack Studnicka (right) battles Nic Dowd for the puck.
Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

The Boston Bruins’ selected Fabian Lysell in the first round of the 2021 NHL Draft in June, a choice met with immediate excitement.

While Lysell’s upside and talent speak for themselves, the Bruins had some young talent waiting in the wings in Jack Studnicka.

Studnicka has more than gotten his feet wet at the NHL level, having played 22 regular season games and an additional five postseason games over the last two seasons.

The 22-year-old has just four points in that span, while collecting 56 points in 71 AHL games.

Though the numbers haven’t exactly translated for Studnicka, he is still ahead of Lysell in terms of development.

Having depth, especially as young and talented as Boston is at the right wing position, is never a bad thing.

But if Boston is looking for immediate results, there’s a case to be made for both players to potentially crack the roster sooner rather than later.

Studnicka adds versatility

While his primary position has been at right wing at the NHL level, Studnicka is a natural center.

He played center sparingly in his first two years in the NHL, taking only taken 116 faceoffs and winning 55 (47.4 percent).

There’s certainly work to do for Studnicka at the faceoff dot, but it’s an added bonus for the forward to be able to step in and take faceoffs at any point in a game.

Studnicka has also reportedly added muscle and more physicality in the offseason as well, making him even more suited for a role at center.

Studnicka appeared he to be just starting to get comfortable in Boston and can assume either a center or a wing role among the forward corps this coming season.

The final detail to add is goal scoring, and hopefully that will come this season.

A fresh start with Lysell

Boston feels like they found a diamond in the rough with Lysell (or maybe “an overlooked diamond,” as Lysell was highly rated but passed over in the first round).

The forward was dominant in junior hockey and already got 26 games of professional experience in Sweden’s top division — though he managed just three points as a pro.

Although Lysell is unfamiliar with the Bruins or the NHL’s style of play, his speed and stickhandling abilities alone make him a fit in any team’s system.

Adding speed on the wings, in fact, fills a need for Boston, and today’s NHL definitely favors a player with Lysell’s skill set (i.e. “fast and talented”).

Lysell’s entry-level deal with Boston provides financial and roster flexibility, but Boston needs to be careful not to rush his development.

Starting Lysell off in Providence might be the way to go, but should he impress at training camp or when he gets a shot at the NHL level, there’s a chance that he surpasses Studnicka on the organizational depth chart.

It’s not a bad problem to have, but it says a lot (both about Lysell and about the state of the Bruins’ farm system) that the Bruins’ most recent first-round pick may already be ready to assume that top spot.