Vancouver Giants teammates still finding Fabian Lysell’s skating and other skills ‘jaw-dropping’


Swedish winger Fabian Lysell admits he’s been “inconsistent” at times this season.

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Fabian Lysell is six months into his first season with the Vancouver Giants and he can still mesmerize the guys he’s on the ice with every day.

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“He’s obviously a really skilled player. He’s a special player. Some of the stuff he can do is jaw-dropping. It catches me off-guard sometimes,” Giants center Zack Ostapchuk said last week. “Some of the stuff he can do pretty much no one else in the (WHL) can do.”


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Some of that stuff was on display in Vancouver’s 4-0 win over the Victoria Royals last Friday at the Langley Events Centre. In the third period, Lysell took a pass from the left side while standing in the middle of the ice just inside the Victoria blue-line. He went to his backhand to get past an onrushing Brayden Schuurman and then quickly to his forehand to weave the other way around another Royals checker in Bailey Peach. All that was followed by roofing a shot past sprawling Victoria netminder Campbell Arnold from the right faceoff circle.

The Giants have had players in their history who have made skating look ridiculously easy. Lysell, a Swede who was a first-round pick, No. 21 overall, by the Boston Bruins in last summer’s NHL Draft, is in that group and among the top of that group when it comes to being able to change direction in full-flight .

Team that talent with his 5-foot-10, 172 pound frame and right-handed shot and Lysell can conjure up images of the explosive and dynamic Gilbert Brule, Vancouver’s first marquee attraction.

“I deked the first guy and the second guy, too, and then I just ripped the puck,” Lysell explained simply of that goal against the Royals.

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With 41 points, including 18 goals, in 35 games, Lysell leads the Giants in scoring, and that’s despite missing 10 games due to world junior team commitments and a trip back to Sweden. He’s missed another three games with injury or illness.

Giants general manager Barclay Parneta has said that the visit to his family was set up before the season even started. Lysell has been open about this first season in North America being an adjustment.

Lysell has had stretches with Vancouver where he’s faded into the background and he himself characterizes his first-half play as “inconsistent.”

“I feel better now coming back and hopefully I’ll keep up that consistency even more in the future,” Lysell said.

Ostapchuk said, too, last week that he thinks Lysell is “starting to really figure out our league.”

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Vancouver (20-26-2-0) has underachieved this season. Coach Michael Dyck has tinkered with forward lines frequently in a bid to get the offense going. Of late, Dyck has had Lysell together with Ostapchuk, who was an Ottawa Senators’ second-rounder last summer, and overage Adam Hall.

Lysell and Ostapchuk carpool to home games together, so there’s some added chemistry there already.

“I think we complement each other pretty well. He’s a power forward who can play both ends of the ice,” Lysell said.

Dyck has also been calling on Lysell to kill penalties more frequently since his return from Sweden and Lysell is keen on that.

“I love it. I want to be on the ice as much as possible,” Lysell said. “Whatever it is, I’ll go out there and try my best.”

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Lysell turned 19 in January, so he would be age-eligible to play for the Giants two more seasons after this one, but it’s highly unlikely he would be back in Vancouver colors for even a second campaign. Drafted where he was, he’ll undoubtedly get an extended crack at making the Bruins next season.

and sOnce he was drafted out of Europe, he can also play minor pro next season. North Americans have to be in their 20-year-old season to play in the minors.

[email protected]

twitter:@SteveEwen


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