Anders Bjork has had a really rough go at life in the NHL. When he joined the Boston Bruins for the 2017-18 season, he played 30 games and looked pretty alright!...Before suffering his first shoulder injury. And never being seen again.
That shoulder injury required surgery and ended his season. It’s bad too, considering the winger put up 12 points (4 G, 8 A) through 30 games and was looking pretty good for a rookie NHLer.
Fast forward to the 2018-19 season, Bjork played 20 games with Boston, putting up just three points (1 G, 2 A). He was sent down to the Providence Bruins after an unimpressive start to the season. With Providence, he seemed to flourish as he put up 10 points (1 G, 9 A) through 13 games. It all looked promising until he fell awkwardly on his arm/shoulder after a collision with a Hershey Bears’ player. So once again, the winger underwent a successful shoulder surgery that cut his season short.
It’s a tough break for a guy who was a star at the University of Notre Dame and had a lot of promise. But now after two shoulder surgeries, the future is unknown for the 22-year-old.
Don’t get me wrong, Bjork is extremely young and has much more time to develop, but where will that development take place? Besides his size though, his second stint with Boston this season wasn’t anything to write home about. Those three points through 20 games was definitely not enough for Bruce Cassidy to keep him on the squad, and rightfully so.
Bjork can clearly put up points at the AHL level, but he has yet to play a full season at either the AHL or NHL level. The only logical place for Bjork to start next season is with Providence.
The AHL is a great place for developing players to start out, and the Bruins have seen the likes of Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron through Providence, so Bjork could highly benefit from a full season with the baby B’s.
Of course, the big issue he’s running into is that for all the world he looked like a worldbeater in some games...he really had a knack for falling into the background as a rookie. And that’s sometimes worse than just being bad. Made even worse by the fact that he’s...kinda yet to show us what he looks like over even 40 games. His health is probably
At this point, Bjork hasn’t shown us that he’s ready for the NHL. Sure, he’s had flashes of great play (which mainly came alongside Marchand and Bergeron), but it’s just not enough of a sample size. Especially when you’ve been derailed by two shoulder injuries.
So, my point is, Bjork should start the 2019-20 season in Providence. And quite honestly, he should be spending a full season there before the Bruins even think of inserting him back into the Boston lineup. He needs to prove, more than anything, he’s more than just “Good enough to hang around”.
If he bulks up and betters his play, there’s no reason why he can’t be in Boston by the time he’s 24-25 years old.