Boston Bruins prospect Andres Bjork hasn’t had much luck when it comes to injuries in his young professional career. The former NCAA superstar, who came out of college early to join the Boston Bruins, lost yet another season to injury in 2018-19. With his shoulder finally set, Bjork told reporters that he is fully healthy, he is ready to compete in camp. That starts with next week’s prospect challenge in Buffalo.
“It was about a six month recovery and rehab. Technically I was cleared in July, so I’m feeling good now,” Bjork told reporters. The 23-year-old will be arguably the most experienced player on any team next week in Buffalo. Unlike the other players on the team, however, Bjork is fighting to prove his worth right now. He’s played 50 NHL games, but has just five goals to show for it. He’s not worried about being the elder statesman in Buffalo.
“I’ve been out for so long. Over two years I’ve barely played one full season of hockey, so any extra games will help from a conditioning standpoint and from where I’m at in a skills standpoint.”
The skills have always been there, but the young Bjork has yet to develop at the NHL or AHL level. That’s mostly because he can’t stay in the lineup. “I’m definitely curious about what I can do with a full season. Every player wants to play every game for whatever team that they’re on.”
He hasn’t had the luxury of a healthy season since turning pro, but knows that health and some confidence could be enough to spark his once promising career. After all, he does play for a team known to give opportunities to young players.
“All the young guys are excited about those (NHL roster openings). We’ve seen here that young guys can make the roster and make an impact, so it’s definitely an exciting opportunity for all of us young guys.” With Marcus Johansson leaving as a free agent, and Danton Heinen dealing with consistency issues, it’s possible two top-nine spots will be available in camp. Bjork’s skill-set makes him a candidate for a job.
In order to force his way onto the roster, and potentially into a marquee role, Bjork will need to show the consistency and goal scoring ability that shined at Notre Dame. That means staying healthy, playing with confidence, and using his lethal shot. After all, with a strong prospect system pushing up, this could be last call for Bjork in Boston.
The Boston Bruins have holes that need to be filled, and Andres Bjork has the skills to fill said holes. He’s healthy and ready to go. Can he rekindle the magic that had everyone so excited just a few short years ago?