Providence Bruins head coach Ryan Mougenel joins this week’s episode of New England Hockey Journal’s “RinkWise” podcast.
Mougenel, from Scarborough, Ontario, joins the show to discuss Boston Bruins prospects in Providence (Oskar Steen, Fabian Lysell, and more) and what he thinks will give them a chance to be impact players at the NHL level.
The first-year AHL head coach also covers some of his experiences and observations from his previous coaching stops in the ECHL and AHL with both San Jose and Boston organizations.
A former OHL and minor-league forward, Mougenel, 45, was named the 13th head coach of the Bruins’ AHL affiliate on Aug. 13, 2021, after two seasons behind the Providence bench as an assistant under Jay Leach.
After retiring from a six-year professional playing career, Mougenel began coaching as an ECHL assistant in 2005 and was named a head coach in 2009.
Prior to becoming an assistant with the AHL Bruins in 2018, he spent three seasons as a member of the Sharks’ organization. There, he learned some valuable lessons that he continues to carry with him today.
“In San Jose, the one thing that I took out of that was the players that had success in growth were the players that had a lot of questions; were inquisitive,” Mougenel told host Kirk Luedeke.
“It’s something that’s kind of stuck with me. Players that come in and ask questions and want to get better and ask ‘why’ all the time, I think those are the guys that have success.”
Now in his fourth season with Boston, an organization that values “guys that can compete (and) guys that have courage,” he said, Mougenel is entrenched in the prospects pipeline of one of the NHL’s Original Six.
“(The Bruins) have done a great job of drafting kids that want to be hockey players. Sometimes it takes longer than others (but) the Bruins have the patience and the resources to grow those players,” he said.
“They also have something that a lot of teams in the NHL don’t have: they’ve been a very good team for a plethora of years, where there is no rush to get these guys in the lineup. We want them to be the best version of them when they get to the NHL.”
Take Oskar Steen, for example.
“The one thing about ‘Steener’ is he’s a low-maintenance guy, to begin with. He’s got a crazy thirst to get better and he’s a student of the game. … He’s a fiery kid. (Early on) he played with a lot of physically … This year, he was put in way more of an offensive role and he just flourished. And he was ready for that. I don’t think he was ready for it his first two years,” Mougenel said.
“His growth has been a nice steady burn and that’s what you want to see. He’s at a spot in his career where we know he can go up and help the Bruins … That’s what the American League is about. When guys are ready, they need to go, and his game was in a good place — I think it’s still in a really good place up there — and mentally he’s ready for the NHL.”
For more from Ryan Mougenel on Bruins prospects, insight into his philosophies on coaching, development, and more, listen to the full episode of the NEHJ’s “RinkWise” podcast today.