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After dominating the J20 in 2015-16, Jesper Boqvist made the jump up from the Swedish Junior league and to playing against pros this year. He put up just six assists in 16 games with Brynas IF. He added a goal in 10 playoff games. As a youngster who was struggling to find ice time, the club sent him on loan to a club in the Allsvenskan, the Swedish second division. Boqvist had more success with Timra IF. He scored three goals and 12 points in 19 games. It was a good introduction to playing against pros for the 18-year old centre.
With an October 1998 birthdate, Boqvist was a big part of the Swedish Under-18 team in 2015-16. He scored two goals and an assist at the 2016 IIHF Under 18 World Championships, helping Sweden to a silver medal. He also played in the Ivan Hlinka, again coming home with a silver medal. While Boqvist played some games with the Under-20 team this year, he did not make the World Junior team. Expect that to change for next year’s tournament in Buffalo, New York.
Jesper Boqvist Scouting Report: 2017 NHL Draft #44
Center/Left Wing — shoots Left
Born October 30th, 1998 — Falun, Sweden
Height 5’10” — Weight 172 lbs [178 cm / 78 kg]
Boqvist has a great first step, and outstanding acceleration. He wins races to loose pucks, and can pressure players who have the puck. His top end speed is also very good, and it helps him to be dangerous in transition and create odd-man rushes. Boqvist has a powerful lower body, which gives him a strong stride. He has the ability to fight through checks, and be strong on the puck against other junior players. However, playing against men, one can see that there is still a bit of room to improve before he is ready to take the next step. Boqvist also has very good agility, and can make quick cuts to beat a defender in one-on-one situations.
Boqvist combines his excellent skating ability, with the quick hands to make stick handle in a phone booth. His dekes, feints, and puck protection make him a real handful for defenders. When Boqvist gets a step on a defender, he drives to the net looking to make a play. He is also a strong play maker, using his vision to find open teammates, and his lateral agility to open up passing lanes.
Most of Boqvist’s goals come in close to the net. He has the hands to finish in tight, and the quickness to pounce on rebounds. He also has a quick release on his wrist shot and can get off a quick one-timer. However, he needs to add upper body strength, and improve the power on his wrist shot if he wants to score goals from further out.
Boqvist is willing to take a hit to make a play, and can battle along the boards, but he isn’t one who initiates contact. Instead he uses his stick to make poke checks at the puck. He could be even better at battling with more upper body strength. His positioning is generally pretty good in his own end, and he can transition the puck quickly to offence once a turnover is created. His speed and quickness is an asset in his own end.
Projection and Comparison
Boqvist’s will need some time to develop. He must get bigger, as well as work on his shot. He also has needs to play a bit more physical when he comes over to North America. There is potential here though, as he could develop into a top six centre. In terms of a style comparison, his game is similar to Nick Bonino of the Pittsburgh Penguins. This is not a talent based comparison though.
The following is a compilation of highlights, assembled from Youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect available on our draft board.
Main Photo via @JesperBoqvist .