(Photo Credit: Boston College Athletics)

By: Jason Cooke | Follow me on Twitter / X @cookejournalism

When Boston Bruins prospect Oskar Jellvik hit the ice at Boston College last fall, the sophomore forward wasn’t at the top of the organization’s radar. Though he was only 20 years old, the 2021 fifth-round pick was early in his development, and a 17-point freshman campaign wasn’t exactly turning heads. But what a difference a season can make.

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Jellvik, now 21, more than doubled his freshman point total, notching 13-29-42 in 41 games while elevating himself to the second line between fellow Bruins prospect Andre Gasseau and the highly touted Cutter Gauthier. His contributions were at the nucleus of the Eagles’ Hockey East Championship and trek to the NCAA Tournament as the top seed. And now months removed from their heartbreak in the national championship game, Jellvik is standing out as one of Boston’s top prospects at development camp.

“He may have had one of the biggest growth seasons of the group year over year,” Player Development Coordinator Adam McQuaid said Tuesday. “I know it was a big transition for him coming over the first year with smaller ice and little things like that. But I think his consistency was the main thing. He played well on a nightly basis.”

For Jellvik, the transition from J20 Nationell—a Swedish junior league–was a lot to take in when he arrived at Chestnut Hill as a freshman. A smaller ice surface and battling against some of the top prospects in the world took some getting used to. And standing at just 5’11”, 175 pounds, he had to learn how to use his size and quickness to his advantage.

“Just getting acclimated to the level here at college and the speed that you play at,” he said of adjusting to the college game. “It was a change from coming from Sweden and the U20 league there. It’s a little bit faster and a smaller ice sheet. Just getting acclimated with how the game is being played here. That’s the biggest thing that’s changed.”

So when Jellvik exploded for six goals in his first five games last October, he earned himself a promotion to the second line, where he played alongside Gasseau and Gauthier for the remainder of the season. Things instantly clicked, and it didn’t take long for Jellvik to become one of the team’s top producers. His quick release coupled with his speed and playmaking ability made him a constant threat whenever the puck was on his tape.

“You don’t try to think of it like that,” he said of playing for a promotion in the lineup. “You just try to get better every day and improve. Play where you’re at, and do what you can for the team to win. I just feel like that’s my mindset all the time.”

Those qualities have been evident throughout the duration of development camp. In Wednesday’s brief sample size of various three-on-three and compete drills, Jellvik put his playmaking tangibles on full display. And while he’s not the biggest forward on the ice, he’s showcased his knack for using his body to win puck battles and gain leverage in the corners or in front of the net. He certainly wasn’t shying away from any physicality.

He’s also got the opportunity to connect with newly-named Bruin Dean Letourneau, Boston’s 25th overall selection in the 2024 draft, as well as Gasseau at camp. With Will Smith and Gauthier graduating to the NHL ranks, Jellvik will be among BC’s primary voices when they look to make it back to the national championship.

“It’s a lot of fun having both these guys here,” said Jellvik. “I know Andre from school before, but it’s been great getting to know Dean the first couple days of camp, and I look forward to getting to know him today and tomorrow.”

When asked if his junior season was “championship or bust,” Jellvik didn’t hesitate to reply. With Washington Capitals prospect Ryan Leonard set to return to BC as a sophomore, the Eagles will be prepped for another shot at the ultimate prize.

“Yeah, that’s the hope,” he said. “We made it to the championship last year and lost, so obviously we want to make it back there and hopefully, we’ll get the win. But we have a lot of season ahead of us, so let’s not get ahead.”

In the meantime, Jellvik is hoping to improve on being stronger on pucks in the corners and generally being harder to play against. Regardless of BC’s title dreams next season, Jellvik is a player to watch in Boston’s prospect pool across the New England rinks.

“Just being strong on pucks and being strong down low,” he said of what he’s focusing on. “Being able to keep plays going, that sort of stuff. That’s my main focus.”