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Bruins sign intriguing defense prospect Brady Lyle to entry-level deal

WEEI logo WEEI 4/19/2021 Scott Mc Laughlin
a hockey player standing in the snow © Provided by WEEI

While the Bruins’ drafting has come under fair criticism in recent years, they have generally done a pretty good job when it comes to signing undrafted free agents, with players like Torey Krug, Kevan Miller, Noel Acciari, Frank Vatrano, Karson Kuhlman and, most recently, Jack Ahcan among those who have made at least some impact at the NHL level.

Brady Lyle could end up adding to that list. The Bruins announced Monday that they have signed Lyle to a two-year entry-level contract that carries an annual NHL cap hit of $800,000.

Lyle, 21, is a 6-foot-3, 213-pound right-shot defenseman who obviously has size, but also has quite a bit of offense to his game, including a hard, dangerous shot.

Currently playing for the Providence Bruins, Lyle is tied for the AHL lead in goals by a defenseman with six, to go along with six assists for a total of 12 points in 19 games. Last year with the Owen Sound Attack, Lyle ranked third in goals among Ontario Hockey League defenseman with 22 and fourth in points with 65 in 62 games.

Back in 2017, Lyle was ranked as a mid-round NHL draft prospect in several rankings -- including 48th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting -- but somewhat surprisingly went undrafted. That could be in part because his offense really didn’t start to show up at the OHL level until 2018-19.

When the Bruins signed Lyle to an AHL deal last year, Dominic Tiano, who watches a lot more OHL than I do, wrote this about the blue-liner:

Lyle is a defender coaches can send over the boards in any situation. He can quarterback the powerplay, kill penalties, match up against the opposition’s best players, and in the last minute of a one goal game, is the first D over the boards whether you’re protecting a one goal lead, or are trying to tie it up. He has a howitzer of a shot from the point that usually finds the target. It’s a heavy shot and when he puts it on target, is difficult for goaltenders to contain, creating second chance opportunities.

P-Bruins expert Mark Divver reported late last week that other NHL teams had been “sniffing around” on Lyle, which would explain the Bruins signing him to an entry-level deal before another team swooped in to do so.

We wouldn’t expect to see Lyle in Boston any time this season unless the Bruins suffer even more injuries on defense than they already have, but he is clearly a player who has put himself on the radar for a look down the line if he continues to impress.

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