The Boston Bruins clearly aren’t resting on their laurels after a second round playoff defeat at the end of the New York Islanders, even if they’re not exactly making big roster splashes yet either. On Monday the Bruins announced they had signed 26-year-old Swedish forward Jesper Froden to a one-year, $842,500 contract for the 2021-22 NHL season.
The 5-foot-10, 176-pound Froden had career-highs in goals (22) and points (40) last season in 52 games for Skelleftea and added another three goals in 12 playoff games for his Swedish Elite League hockey club. Froden added three goals and four points during a strong showing at the IIHF World Championships earlier this month as well, so it’s clear his value is at its highest point as a hockey player for a small, undrafted forward out of Sweden.
“The Bruins are very pleased to be adding Jesper to our organization,” said Sweeney. “We have tracked Jesper’s growth in the SHL where he has proven to be highly productive, competitive, and a smart, two-way player. Jesper is very excited to join a competitive team with the opportunity to compete for a roster spot.”
While Froden has been a solid offensive contributor in the Swedish Elite League, his numbers are very comparable to the versatile Par Lindholm, a former Bruins forward that actually played with Froden for Skelleftea after Lindholm returned to Sweden. It’s expected he’d be a candidate to compete for a bottom-6 spot similar to fellow Swedes like Lindholm and Joakim Nordstrom over the last couple of seasons.
With Sean Kuraly at the end of his contract with the Boston Bruins and Curtis Lazar, Chris Wagner and Trent Frederic in the mix for fourth line spots, it makes sense for the Bruins to shore up their organizational depth while taking a chance that maybe there’s something more there with the Swedish right winger. It also gives them another natural right wing when the Bruins were forced to push Jake DeBrusk over to the right side last season once their depth was tested with injuries to Ondrej Kase among others.
Certainly it also shores up their bottom-6 forward depth if the Boston Bruins end up losing a forward in the upcoming Seattle Kraken expansion draft as well.