By: Andrew Bluestein | Follow Me On Twitter / X @adbblue
During this past off-season, the Boston Bruins signed forward Jesper Boqvist to a one-year $775,000 deal. Boqvist was originally a second-round pick of the New Jersey Devils in 2017. He was coming off posting the second-best season of his career, tying his career high in goals with ten.
During training camp, he was unable to crack the Bruins roster and was assigned to AHL affiliate Providence to start the season. He was briefly recalled at the beginning of the season and played in one game against the Anaheim Ducks on October 26th, playing just 6:04. Since being recalled again on January 6th, he’s tuned up his game.
Boqvist has appeared in the last nine games for the Bruins, and he’s earned it. His improved play has gotten him an enhanced role with the team. Primarily, the Swedish native has been slotting in on the fourth line. He’s done a solid job on the back check and in the defensive zone and has built solid chemistry with Danton Heinen. The two play a similar game, which complements each other well. His ice time has increased significantly since his first two games, and he now finds himself averaging 10:17 per game.
When he was drafted, Boqvist was regarded as a skilled offensive player. It’s been on display in the AHL with Providence this season, as he has a line of 10-13-23 in 31 games and has a +10 rating. His offensive ability has come in spurts with Boston, creating some solid chances. He has, however, passed up a few good opportunities to shoot the puck. His lone goal in the NHL this season came in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Arizona Coyotes, and it was a beauty. He beat Coyotes netminder Connor Ingram with a bullet to the blocker side after cutting through the middle.
It’s clear his confidence is building each game as he gets more comfortable with his role. He has a solid +4 rating and two assists this season, including an impressive one in the Bruins 9-4 over the Montreal Canadiens. He hit Heinen with a great drop pass off the boards in the neutral zone, which created a two-one where Heinen scored his second of three goals in the game. The play showcased Boqvist’s hockey instincts, and he seems to be making more high hockey IQ plays every night.
He’s slowly developed his game this season, becoming a solid team contributor. It’s a good thing for the Bruins as he adds another depth piece to their surplus of forwards. His play of late is likely the role the organization envisioned him playing this season, and he’s certainly stepped up to the plate as of late.