Photo credit: Håkan Humla
By Scott Rosenhek
Second Round Spotlight is a new series of profiles for players that I would hope for the Canucks to select at 33rd overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
Jesper Boqvist is an interesting forward who may be available at 33rd overall this year. He has a late birthday, putting him in the older portion of first time draft-eligible palyers. Boqvist is well-known in Sweden and could potentially slip into the end of the first round.
Last year, Jesper Boqvist produced 58 points in 38 games in Sweden’s junior league, SuperElit. Furthermore, Boqvist played 8 games in the SHL, picking up one assist. He ended that year with a notable performance at the Under-18 World Junior Championships, collecting 3 points in 7 games on route to a Silver Medal for Sweden.
This year, Boqvist produced 6 points in 16 games in the SHL and 12 points in 19 games in the second-tier Swedish men’s league, Allsvenskan. This is impressive as Boqvist has been able to play in two different men’s leagues this year and was able to produce points.
Analyzing his point totals requires some context. Former Canucks Army writers Josh Weissbock and Cam Lawrence came up with the 51% rule for the SHL and the 33% rule for Allsvenskan. The idea behind the each rule is that if a player under 19 years of age produces at least 0.09 points per game (PPG) in one season, that player has a 51% chance of playing 200 NHL games if they did this in the SHL and a 33% chance if they did this in Allsvenskan.
Boqvist clears that mark by a wide margin in both leagues this year with a 0.375 PPG in the SHL and 0.632 PPG in Allsvenskan. We should not just focus on his stats. Jesper Boqvist is a speedster, carrying the puck to the tight-checking areas of the offensive zone without hesitation. He is not afraid of contact and his game looks very transferrable to the NHL level.
Jesper is very strong on the puck and can beat defenders on the forecheck in two different men’s leagues. Boqvist has quick hands, skill and uses his vision to his advantage in the offensive zone. He will play a physical game and can use his stick work to retrieve pucks to make plays.
I see Boqvist as a potential middle-six forward in the future. His offensive instincts and physical play could be a unique addition to a power play or penalty kill unit. It would be a win for the Canucks to select him in this year’s draft.
Here is a link to Jesper Boqvist’s highlights from his 2015-16 season.