While tracking a Bruins games earlier this summer, I came upon this play from October 5th. I normally listen to music or podcasts while I track games, but this time I had the commentary on.
Following the play, Andy Brickley exclaimed, “If there is one criticism of Bjork, it’s that he’s not shooting enough.” First of all, I think this may be an overreaction to that play. If his pass gets to Marchand, there is a much higher probability of the puck going in, as Ryan Stimson explored recently in an article for The Coaches’ Site. However, Andy Brickley surely came to that conclusion about Bjork prior to that play.
Can we test whether or not his statement is true? . He has only played 39 professional games, and the NCAA has limitations to it’s data. However, we do know that in Bjork’s last season at Notre Dame in 2016-17, he had 3.31 shots per game. That is ahead of some of his peers including, Luke Kunin, Troy Terry, and Alex Kerfoot.
In his limited amount of games at the NHL level, he has taken 11.60 shot attempts per 60 minutes at 5v5. That isn’t anything to worry about. It is ahead of guys like David Krejci and Ryan Spooner, but is still below average.
Although what Brickley claimed may not hold water, it brings up an interesting point. With a stock pile of young forwards looking to make the move to the NHL within the Bruins organization, the confidence to make the right plays will be a key for any of these young prospects. Bjork has certainly shown he has the talent to play in the NHL, but can he be effective?
We’ll have to see what he looks like in a full season.