Five Boston Bruins Prospects Who Could Make the Lineup Next Season

Photo Credit: Boston Bruins

As is the case most offseasons, the Boston Bruins are involved in trade and free agent rumors daily as they look to add to a team that fell to the Florida Panthers in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Some hot topics this summer are the status of goaltender Linus Ullmark, the potential re-signing of Jeremy Swayman, and how the Bruins will fill some of the holes they have at center and on the wing. In some ways, Boston overachieved this season, but are they closer to contention than most thought? If General Manager Don Sweeney has difficulty filling out the roster, there might be some in-house options. Here are five young players who could see time in Boston with a good training camp:

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Matt Poitras

Photo: NESN

The 20-year-old center showed promise in 33 games this season with Boston before a shoulder injury ended his year. Poitras scored five goals with 10 assists and gave the Bruins the playmaking ability they desperately needed. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound forward had to play in Boston or go back to the Ontario Hockey League due to a ruling that did not allow him to be optioned to the American Hockey League. His play in training camp proved to management that the second-round draft pick should stay with the Bruins. Poitras will need to get stronger to withstand a full professional season and a start in Providence is on the table. Either way, Poitras is a wild card this offseason and could solve some of Boston’s issues at center.

Georgii Merkulov

The undrafted college free agent had a productive season in Providence with 30 goals and 35 assists in 67 games. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound center is an option at the beginning of the 2024-25 season after getting a taste of the NHL by playing four games with Boston this season in limited minutes. Like Poitras, size and strength could be a deterrent for Merkulov but the offensive skill and instincts are there. The Bruins will need at least one of these two centers to emerge next season and Merkulov is turning 24 years old in October. The time might be now to prove his worth.

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Fabian Lysell

Lysell has been the Bruins’ top prospect and most intriguing young player since he was drafted 21st overall in 2021. Lysell dropped a little on the draft board, and Boston snagged him. The 21-year-old forward has tremendous speed and skill and shows flashes of brilliance. Concussions and other injuries have slowed down Lysell’s development including comments from Providence Bruins’ Head Coach Ryan Mougnenel about Lysell’s commitment defensively. However, Lysell is still a top prospect, and the 2024-25 season presents a good chance to crack the NHL lineup. The Bruins sorely need someone of Lysell’s talent level on the wing to take some of the pressure off of David Pastrnak. Team President Cam Neely mentioned the need for the Bruins to get faster, and Lysell can provide that. This season, Lysell scored 15 goals with 35 assists in 56 games but played just one playoff game.

John Farinacci

Farinacci might be the most NHL-ready player of the group of Providence Bruins who played last season. The former Harvard captain, who played for his uncle, former Bruin Ted Donato with the Crimson, is a solid two-way center who has shown excellent leadership qualities at all levels. Farinacci projects to be a middle to bottom-six player in the NHL and scored 12 goals with 26 assists in 72 games and also had a goal and an assist in four playoff games with Providence. The 23-year-old Red Bank, New Jersey native was a third-round pick of the Arizona Coyotes in the 2019 NHL Draft but was not signed by the club, leaving him available for the Bruins to sign. Farinacci should compete for a spot as a bottom-six center with John Beecher and others during training camp.

Trevor Kuntar

The former Boston College forward has a fire hydrant-type physique at 6-foot, 200 pounds, and plays a grinding, forechecking style that seems to be a good fit in Boston. The left-wing scored 10 goals with 10 assists in 70 games for Providence and is a prototypical bottom-six forward. The third-round draft pick in 2020 could fight for a spot on the Bruins with forward positions up for grabs. Kuntar will turn 23 years old in June and his aggressive, physical style could really help the Bruins fill out the bottom half of the lineup.

In a perfect world, the Bruins will add top-six forward help this offseason, but the bottom-six can be revamped with players like Farinacci and Kuntar. What the Bruins could really benefit from is for Poitras, Merkulov, and Lysell to take a step this season and produce at the NHL level consistently.

Season 3. Episode 49. Prospects Rankings 26-30 Bruins Benders Podcast

Join the Bruins Benders Podcast as they cover the HOTTEST topics in the Boston Bruins market, along with… – Prospect Rankings 26-30- Early Line Projections- Most Hated NHL Franchises- Cole Spicer Steps Away& Much More!DraftKings Sportsbook – Boston’s hometown Sportsbook is LIVE right here in Massachusetts! Bet local on all your favorite sports from the comfort of your own home with DraftKings. To celebrate, ALL new customers will receive up to TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS in BONUS bets when you sign up for DraftKings Sportsbook using code ITR! You can now bet local on money lines, spreads, props, and more with one of America’s top-rated Sportsbooks – DraftKings Sportsbook!  Download the DraftKings Sportsbook app and sign up with code ITR to get up to TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS in BONUS bets to use now that mobile sports betting is live in Massachusetts. That’s code ITR only at DraftKings Sportsbook. If you or a loved one is experiencing problems with gambling, call 800 327-5050 or visit helplineMA.org to speak with a trained specialist, free and confidentially, twenty four seven. 21+. Physically present in MA. Eligibility restrictions apply. Subject to regulatory licensing requirements. Eligibility and deposit restrictions apply. Opt in required. Bonus issued as free bets. Terms at draftkings.com/MA.
  1. Season 3. Episode 49. Prospects Rankings 26-30
  2. Season 3. Episode 48. Arbitration Deadline
  3. Season 3. Episode 47. Free Agency Begins
  4. Season 3. Episode 46. Draft Night
  5. Season 3. Episode 45. After the Hugs Are Gone

2 thoughts on “Five Boston Bruins Prospects Who Could Make the Lineup Next Season

  1. With the exception of Poitras none of those other players will make the team, especially Lysell, out of the players mentioned Lysell may be the worst of the bunch. I watched about a dozen Providence games you could hardly even notice Fabian overrated and not as fast as advertised.

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