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Anton Blidh is a fringe (but interesting) prospect at #25

The Swede plays hard, but can he crack the lineup regularly?

Boston Bruins v New Jersey Devils Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Bruins Top 25 Under 25

#25: Anton Blidh - F

Where did he come from? 2013 Draft - 6th round, 180th overall

Age: 22

Has he played in the NHL? Yes - 19 games

Anton Blidh surprised a few people when he earned a call-up to the NHL in late 2016, playing in his first NHL game on December 3 game in Buffalo (poor kid had to debut in Buffalo).

He wasn’t exactly a heralded prospect, having recorded just over a dozen points in 65 games with the Providence Bruins in the previous season.

However, it became clear pretty quickly that scoring prowess wasn’t what the Bruins liked about Blidh: the kid played a rough, GRITTY® game, one that endeared him to fans pretty quickly.

While hits are a screwy stat, Blidh was credited with 41 hits in just 19 games - good for 3rd on the team in hits per game at 2.2.

One of his more notable hits came in Nashville, where he bundled Roman Josi and earned himself a major and a game misconduct in the process.

Blidh chipped in a little on offense, scoring once and getting an assist. His first goal was a wacky one, but it counts:

What does the future look like for Blidh?

There are a ton of young forwards who have more skill and more offensive upside than Blidh. He’s probably never going to be a 20-goal scorer at the NHL level, nor will he ever be a mainstay on the power play.

However, many of those young forwards are skill-first guys: players who are expected to score on the first, second or third lines, not grind on the fourth.

If Blidh is going to earn a regular spot on the Bruins, it’s going to be as a hard-nosed player in a bottom-six role. The Bruins do have several guys available to fill those roles (e.g. Noel Acciari, Riley Nash), but Blidh remains a good option.