Only a day after 19-year-old Matthew Poitras earned a full-time spot up in Boston, one other prime Bruins prospect is poised to make his NHL debut in opposition to the Maple Leafs on Thursday night time at TD Backyard.
Boston introduced on Wednesday morning that it recalled defenseman Mason Lohrei up from Windfall, with the playmaking blueliner anticipated to step into one of many two beginning roles vacated following Matt Grzelcyk’s upper-body harm and Charlie McAvoy’s four-game suspension.
Lohrei, who was packing his baggage along with his teammates down in Windfall forward of a street journey right down to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, received the decision into the coaches’ workplace at 12:27 p.m. on Tuesday. The P-Bruins’ bus was scheduled to depart at 12:30 p.m.
“Clearly, nice to be again,” Lohrei mentioned Wednesday after apply. “Completely satisfied to be right here. Able to get to work.”
Lohrei was certainly one of three Windfall D-men referred to as on Thursday, joined by Ian Mitchell and Parker Wotherspoon.
Throughout Wednesday’s apply at Warrior Ice Area, Lohrei skated with Brandon Carlo, with Bruins coach Jim Montgomery noting that the 22-year-old rookie will possible log heavy minutes out of the gate.
“We heard he’s simply getting higher and higher for the reason that season began, which is an indication of a man who is an efficient hockey participant,” Montgomery mentioned of Lohrei. “In camp, he was glorious. So we really feel he can go in and do a very good job for us — enjoying alongside Carlo. … I feel you’re gonna see him on the market lots.
“We expect he’s prepared for this league and we predict that he’s gonna play properly on this league. I don’t know what the minutes are gonna be, however he’s enjoying top-four minutes so it must be anyplace from 18 to — relying on particular groups.”
Though Boston opted to ship Lohrei right down to the AHL for added seasoning on the finish of coaching camp, the 2020 second-round decide accelerated his path to the NHL ranks because of a powerful preseason slate.
Lohrei already boasted a excessive ceiling as an NHLer given his profile as a playmaking defenseman. However his 6-foot-5, 211-pound body makes him a novel and valued prospect able to each consuming up heavy minutes within the D-zone and touchdown punches down the opposite finish of the ice.
“I feel all people begins to see the expertise and the imaginative and prescient that he has the creativity, the arrogance to have the ability to execute offensively,” Don Sweeney mentioned of Mason’s play final month. “Whether or not that’s from his personal purpose line or the offensive blue line. The most important adjustment to the Nationwide Hockey League is admittedly defending in opposition to the highest gamers … as a result of they lean on you, they usually press you. Mason’s going to should proceed to undergo that. There’ll be some rising pains related to it.”
As Lohrei navigates the elevated competitors discovered within the NHL ranks, particularly on Thursday in opposition to Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and a stacked Toronto ahead corps, Carlo will look to supply a steadying presence subsequent to him as a stout, stay-at-home defender.
It’s a mentorship function that has come full circle for Carlo, who started his NHL profession in Boston whereas skating alongside Zdeno Chara on Boston’s prime D pairing in 2016.
“Total, I feel simply the largest issues that I’ve realized from Zee, particularly in these early levels of enjoying collectively, is communication on the ice,” Carlo mentioned Wednesday. “And so long as we’re doing that, we’re going to type issues out within the defensive zone, by means of the impartial zone and whatnot.
“Once we get again on the bench, simply if he sees one thing that he needs me to do in a different way, that’s the way in which you construct the chemistry between a pairing. So I feel for each of us, simply persevering with to speak as a lot as attainable. He’s a clean skater, nice participant, and he’s going to do exactly superb.”
The Bruins might need to subject a D corps with three AHL call-ups in place on Thursday in opposition to Toronto. Not solely will Lohrei and sure Mitchell want to fit in for Grzelcyk and McAvoy, however Montgomery famous on Wednesday that Derek Forbort is “questionable” to play on account of an harm.
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