Bruins

"20 Under 25" Boston Bruins Candidates for 2022

Bruins

The Boston Bruins' prospect pool ranks among the NHL's worst.

There are a few reasons for that.

One is the Bruins have traded a lot of draft picks in recent years. They dealt first-round picks shortly before the trade deadline in both 2018 and 2020. The B's made just four picks in 2020.

"20 Under 25" candidates for other teams: Celtics | Patriots | Red Sox | Revs

As a Stanley Cup contender for most of the last decade, the Bruins have not been afraid to part with draft picks and prospects to add veteran reinforcements at the trade deadline. One example came in 2019, when the B's parted with second, third and fifth-round selections in the months leading up to the deadline. The moves made the team better, although that group came up just one win short of winning the Stanley Cup.

Despite the lackluster depth and talent across the B's prospect pool, there are several talented young players throughout the organization.

A couple made it onto our list "20 Under 25" candidates for 2022. Below, you'll find the five Bruins prospects and NHL players on the ballot this year followed by a form to cast your vote.

Charlie McAvoy

LAST YEAR: 4 | RATING 90.1

McAvoy is one of the top five defensemen in the NHL, and you could make a strong case he's in the top three. 

There were two Boston University defensemen -- Dante Fabbro and McAvoy -- on the board when the Bruins were about to pick at No. 14 in the first round of the 2016 draft. The Bruins made the right choice, as McAvoy has become an elite player who likely will win the Norris Trophy in the not too distant future.

 

He's off to a tremendous start this season, tallying 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in 13 games -- putting himself on pace to shatter his previous career high in points for a single season (32). McAvoy's defense has been awesome, and his puck possession metrics rank among the best at his position.

The Bruins recently signed McAvoy to a nine-year contract extension worth an average of $9.5 million per season. It ensure the Bruins have a legit, No. 1 defenseman for the next decade. 

Jeremy Swayman

LAST YEAR: N/A

Swayman had a great career at the University of Maine and was among Boston's best prospects for a bit, but he really burst onto the scene last season as a reliable rookie goalie for the Bruins.

He posted a 7-3-0 record with a .945 save percentage and a 1.50 goals against average. Swayman also beat out veteran Jaroslav Halak for the backup job entering the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Swayman has started to find his groove again of late, posting a 4-0-0 record with a .930 save percentage in four appearances for the B's this month. He's a very technically sound goaltender who plays with great poise and composure in net. 

The ideal scenario for the Bruins is Swayman takes a firm grip on the starting goalie job and doesn't give it up for a long time. 

Fabian Lysell

LAST YEAR: N/A

The Bruins added much-needed high-end offensive skill to their prospect pool with the selection of Lysell at No. 21 overall in the 2021 NHL Draft.

Lysell has excellent speed, a powerful and accurate shot, and tremendous playmaking ability. Bruins fans got a taste of his impressive offensive talents during the preseason, and he's continued to improve in his first season with the Vancouver Giants of the WHL.

The Swedish forward has tallied 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in 12 games for the Giants, including a four-point night in late October.

Lysell has first or second-line potential at the NHL level, which is exciting for a Bruins fan base that already watches David Pastrnak -- the second-best right winger in the world -- on a nightly basis.

Jack Studnicka

LAST YEAR: 22 | RATING 71.81

Studnicka was a second-round pick of the Bruins in 2017, and after a couple strong years with the AHL's Providence Bruins, he got a chance to earn a full-time roster spot last season. But Studnicka played in just 20 games for Boston, scoring one goal and failing to win a consistent role. 

Studnicka has played in four games this season, and he's not just being deployed as a center. He's seen ice time on the wing, too, and he's played on the second, third and fourth lines as head coach Bruce Cassidy searches for the spot where Studnicka can be most productive.

The Bruins need a No. 2 center of the future following David Krejci's departure in the offseason. The best-case scenario is Studnicka filling that spot.

 

John Beecher

LAST YEAR: 29 | RATING 68.6

The 2020-21 season was a difficult one for Beecher, who the Bruins selected with their 2019 first-round draft pick. He battled injury and wasn't able to put up high scoring totals for the University of Michigan.

Beecher is off to a nice start in 2021-22 with an absolutely loaded Michigan squad ranked No. 1 in the nation. He's tallied four points (two goals, two assists) in four games.

If Beecher is able to develop into a middle-six center at the NHL level, that would be ideal for the Bruins. He has the size, speed and offensive skill to make it happen. Becoming a consistent player remains a challenge.