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The Athletic’s ranking of NHL’s top 50 prospects has zero Bruins players

The Athletic’s ranking of NHL’s top 50 prospects has zero Bruins players originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Bruins are not well-positioned for future success in the post-Patrice Bergeron era.

The team’s prospect pool ranks among the worst in the NHL. The Athletic last updated its prospect pool rankings in February of this year, and the Bruins came in at No. 27 out of 32 teams.

The Athletic updated its list of the top 50 NHL prospects earlier this week, and zero Bruins players made the cut.

Not a single one. Fabian Lysell and Mason Lohrei couldn’t even crack the top 50.

The Bruins haven’t developed young players well enough for much of Don Sweeney’s tenure as general manager, which began in 2015.

Another issue for the Bruins is they’ve drafted the wrong player time and time again. The 2015 draft, where the Bruins held the No. 13, 14 and 15 picks in the first round, stands out as a colossal failure. Plenty of stars were selected in that draft, and Boston failed to select a single one. But many of the Bruins’ other first-rounders such as Trent Frederic (2016), Urho Vaakanainen (2017) and John Beecher (2019) have also contributed very little to the franchise’s success at the NHL level. Vaakanainen isn’t even with the team anymore.

It also doesn’t help that the Bruins have traded so many picks in recent years. That’s a pretty common thing for contending teams to do at the trade deadline, but one of the reasons why the B’s have had to constantly move picks for roster upgrades in-season is because they haven’t drafted well. Boston has been without a first-rounder in three of the last five drafts. The Bruins haven’t picked in both the first and second rounds of the same draft since 2017.

When you take into account all of these points, it’s not really surprising that the Bruins are without a single prospect on The Athletic’s latest top 50 ranking.

However, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about Lysell’s potential.

Bruins’ top prospect draws lofty comparisons from his WHL coach

The 19-year-old right winger tallied 62 points (22 goals, 40 assists) in 53 games for the WHL’s Vancouver Giants last season. He also played fantastic in the WHL playoffs, leading the Giants to a historic first-round upset of the Everett Silvertips.

It was Lysell’s first year playing in North America and the Swedish forward impressed. He’ll attend Bruins training camp this fall and it’ll be interesting to see him compete for a spot on the NHL roster.

Drafting and development needs to be a top priority for the Bruins over the next few years. Repeated failure in these areas could result in a long, painful rebuild whenever Bergeron and Brad Marchand leave or no longer play at an elite level.