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There have long been rumors Jesper Boqvist would sign with the New Jersey Devils this summer as the first step towards earning an NHL job come October.
For once, they appear to be true. The 20-year-old has reportedly decided it's time to come overseas, and an entry-level deal is not far off.
The google translation is a little rough but here's an excerpt from Expressen's article
According to secure information for the SportExpressen, Boqvist has now decided. He tests NHL games this fall.
Specifically, this means that he will sign a two-way contract down the New Jersey Devils, which drew him in 2017. The final details of that deal are now being finalized, reportedly. Boqvist has decided to give NHL a chance this fall and the parties are close together.
Boqvist is coming off an exceptionally strong season in the SHL. He averaged .67 points per game, which was greater output than William Karlsson, Elias Lindholm, Jakob Silfverberg, Marcus Johansson, and Andreas Johnsson, among others, managed at the same stage in their careers.
Perhaps even more impressively, Boqvist just finished 2nd(!) in SHL scoring at 5v5. 2nd! As a 20-year-old playing on an offensively starved team.
He is extremely talented and has already enjoyed plenty of success against men in one of the world's best leagues. There's reason to believe he could be ready for a top-9 spot as early as this fall.
Without any other moves, here's what the forward lines *could* look like with Boqvist – and Jack Hughes – joining the fray:
Hall - Hischier - Bratt
Boqvist - Hughes - Palmieri (heavily sheltered)
Coleman - Zajac - Bastian (heavy defensive usage)
Wood - Zacha - Anderson
That's a much more skilled group than the one we watched on a nightly basis last season. It's also really, really, young group.
That's why I expect Ray Shero to bring in another proven forward – or two, depending if anyone is sent packing – to help insulate the kids and give them some breathing room to grow.
The next few weeks should be fun.
On the Taylor Hall contract situation
Data tracking Hughes and Kakko at the Worlds
On the Devils' potential interest in Nikita Zaitsev
Four potential targets on TSN's trade bait board
Five pieces the Devils could use as trade bait this summer
Another word on Jordan Eberle
Nico Hischier or Elias Pettersson?
Don't sleep on Jesper Boqvist
The Kaapo Kakko blog™
The Jack Hughes blog™