Team: Blues U20
Birthdate: 10th July 1997
NHL Draft Eligible: 2016
Blues U20 forward Kasper Björkqvist has emerged this season in the juniors. He already played well last season, scoring 19 goals in 34 games and playing very solid two-way hockey. He also played at the U18 World Junior Championships for the Finnish team that won silver medals.
However, this season Björkqvist has taken his offensive game to another level, posting respectably 24 goals and 47 points in 30 games. He has played both at center and on the wing. He’s been playing on the wing at the U20 World Juniors as well. He has one goal and one assist in three games at the WJC before today’s contest against Czech Republic.
Björkqvist is a versatile forward who can play numerous roles and still be effective. I already said this last season, but he plays a North American style of game. He’s physically strong, doesn’t hesitate to go to the net and has underrated offensive skills. His skating seems to have improved, though it has never been considerably weak in my opinion. Björkqvist plays with plenty of desire, plus he’s a smart player and has played on PK with the national teams. He went undrafted this year, but I think he has a chance to be drafted in 2016.
Björkqvist has said that he wants to play college hockey in the future. I think it would be a really good move for him, there are a few former Blues juniors thriving in the NCAA, for example Kalle Kossila and Ahti Oksanen.