By: Mark Allred | Follow me on Twitter @BlackAndGold277
Yesterday Boston Bruins prospect Oskar Jellvik announced on the social media platform Twitter that he’s taking his talents from Europe to the smaller rinks of North America to join the NCAA Boston College Eagles. Boston selected the 5′-11″ 174-pound Swedish native in the fifth round of the 2021 National Hockey League virtual entry draft with the 149th overall pick. The 18-year-old left-shooting versatile forward has been a product of the Djurgardens IF for the past few seasons during his development and has played well, working up the European ranks in his home country.
During the 2020/21 season in the J20 Nationell league for the Djurgardens IF club Jellvik posted 6-6-12 in 13 games. In this 2021/22 regular season in the same J20 league, Oskar is having a breakout year offensively with 10-13-23 numbers in 22 games. In three seasons with Djurgardens in the J20 SuperElit, the highly intelligent forward reads the ice well in all situations and is a valued point producer on the bigger European rinks posting 18-21-39 numbers in 50 career games overseas.
There are 24 games remaining in the 2021/22 season for the Djurgarden club and an excellent opportunity for a player like Jellvik to continue his career offensive numbers. Per EliteProspects.com, the Boston Bruins prospect is not under contract with any team overseas, and with his Boston College commitment announcement above officially starting in the 2023/24 NCAA season, this leaves a little speculation as to where the talented forward could play for the 2022/23 season.
As for Jellvik and his continued development next season, well, that remains a mystery. Per my friend and hockey prospect guru Dom Tiano who writes a fantastic regular column on his Dom – Hockey website covering a majority of Boston Bruins prospects and other NHL Bruins news, provided me with some interesting avenues of continued development for Jellvik in the upcoming year. It’s important to keep in mind that Oskar does have another year of J20 eligibility, but at this rate of his development, he might be looking for higher competition.
Oskar could always sign an extension to stay where he is, but he could also explore a higher route of development while staying in his native Sweden. Dom seems to believe that Jellvik could sign somewhere in the second pro Swedish HockeyAllsvenskan league where Bruins prospects Oskar Steen and Victor Berglund have had successful stays.
If another year of European hockey is out of the question and a little more work with the size of North American rinks is needed before playing for Boston College Dom, suggests the Canadian Hockey League. Much like the route that 2021 first-round selection Fabian Lysell took to gather experience in the heavy and physical Western Hockey League with the Vancouver Giants. Bruins scouts, along with management, might advise the young Jellvick to play north of the border for a year or two. Although Oskar was not selected in a yearly CHL Import Draft, the NHL Bruins would have to have some kind of agreement with either an Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, or Western Hockey League franchise.
The third and final potential avenue for Jellvik, per my conversation with Dom, is a popular destination for players committed to play in the NCAA, such as the Tier-1 Junior United States Hockey League. Again, no team in the USHL selected Oskar in previous import drafts, so an agreement would have to be made to solidify a roster spot with a franchise at this level. Current Bruins prospects that are playing in the USHL are defenseman Mason Langenbrunner and Andre Gasseau of the Fargo Force and goaltender Philip Svedeback of the Dubuque Fighting Saints. A few USHL alumni and current Bruins prospects include defenseman Mason Lohrei who played for the Green Bay Gamblers before joining Ohio State, and Riley Duran, who played for the Youngstown Phantoms before joining the Providence College Friars.
Regardless of where Jellvik ends up playing next season, his emergence to the NCAA Boston College Eagles, where he, in fact, committed, could be a special one if he plays for the Hockey East powerhouse. USHL Fargo Force forward Andre Gasseau, who has 7-5-12 numbers in 19 games this season, is committed to Boston College for the 2022/23 campaign. Current Boston College forward and NHL Bruins prospect Trevor Kuntar who’s already in Boston as a sophomore for the Eagles could possibly make three Boston prospects all playing for BC and close by for scouting purposes.
Dom and I both agree that the Bruins selected a good player here in Jellvik in the later rounds of the 2021 NHL Draft. This continues to show how much of a strong influence the NHL Bruins management has in top European Scout and former NHL Boston player PJ Axelsson and his staff of experts evaluating and reporting on developmental talent.
I know many Bruins fans aren’t too keen on the idea of involving so many smaller European hockey players to the mix, but it’s important to remember that players selected from leagues overseas can immediately be placed in the American Hockey League as soon as their contracted commitments are over. Chosen players from the NCAA can wait up to four years to be signed to entry-level contracts.
Selections made that involve North American-born players out of the Canadian Hockey League have to wait until the age of 20 for AHL duties if they don’t make the NHL club after leaving the draft podium in draft-eligible years. The pathway of European players is an excellent gap filler while competing with other leagues and the amount of time needed for them to reach the minor-pro levels of the game.