Last night with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish visiting the Vermont Catamounts I had the opportunity to see Bruins Prospect Anders Bjork live in person. The Bruins drafted Bjork in the 5th round, 146th overall back in 2014. The Mequon, WI native played with the US National Development program prior to arriving in South Bend and Bjork represented the United States at this year’s World Junior Championships.
Bjork’s first two shifts were pretty impressive. He was fed a pass on a 2-on-1 that he did not get enough on and UVM goalie Packy Munson got a piece of his quick shot with his glove. Then on his second shift Bjork collected the puck in the corner and carried the puck out to the slot. He got off a nice shot, but it was deflected over the glass.
Bjork was used in all situations, on the power play for the Irish and he was also killing penalties. He played on his off right wing as he is a left handed shot. Bjork has good skill and was a noticeable standout when he was on the ice. He liked to carry the puck a lot and looked to have good speed even with his possession game. He looks to have good offensive instincts and the fact that he kills penalties as well the Notre Dame coach must trust in his defensive skill set. Although Bjork was not physical, he did not shy away from any contact. Overall, he was minus-1 on the night.
Bjork leads a loaded Notre Dame team in scoring with 26 points (10 goals and 16 assists) this season. In seven games at the World Junior Championship back in December Bjork also collected 3 goals. His Notre Dame Fighting Irish also has 9 NHL draft picks on their roster compared to their Friday night opponent in UVM who have just 1.
To me Bjork looks to be more of a 3rd line type of player in the NHL but he could eventually develop into a 2nd line player. The skill seems to be there. There is no denying that the sophomore is putting up the points in Hockey East which is arguably the best conference in all of college hockey. At this point it I would guess he will stay at Notre Dame through his junior season and then turn pro.
Anders Bjork is just one good prospect in the Bruins farm system that is filling up a deepening talent pool. A lot of that talent is in junior hockey and the NCAA rather than Providence right now, but those players some day soon will be making an impact in the Bruins organization.