Bruins

A shift to the right for Anders Bjork could open up a wealth of possibilities for Bruins lineup

(Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Since getting called back up from Providence on Oct. 22, Anders Bjork has been penciled into a slew of line combinations that Bruce Cassidy has cooked up in Boston’s forward corps. 

Often, the 23-year-old winger has found himself skating with Charlie Coyle — with the duo logging 122:04 of 5v5 ice time together. But Coyle is far from the only pivot that Bjork has earned extended reps with.

Sean Kuraly? 84:55 of 5v5 TOI with Bjork. 
Par Lindholm? 34:37 5v5 TOI.
Even David Krejci has logged 30:12 of 5v5 ice time next to Bjork, especially during Jake DeBrusk’s absence due to a lower-body injury. 

Now in his third go-around up in the NHL ranks, Bjork has served as one of Cassidy’s most versatile tools up front — with the Notre Dame product able to both complement a skilled forward combination while also gaining experience in the bottom six, where his speed has made him a valuable asset on the forecheck. 

But for as much as Bjork has leapfrogged up and down Boston’s lineup, his position hasn’t shifted all that much. 

Initially brought up to the NHL ranks in 2017-18, Bjork started his rookie campaign at right wing, complementing a position group that, aside from David Pastrnak, has largely been barren for Boston when it comes to offensive production. 

But this season, with Bjork looking to find some traction up in the pro ranks, Cassidy has opted to keep the forward at his natural spot at left wing — hoping that the added comfort level would allow Bjork to focus more on the strengths of his game and avoid putting himself in harm’s way.

"We'd like him to go in on the left side where he's been playing, where he played in camp,” Cassidy said of Bjork back in October. “Ideally, to bring him up and then put him in a position to not succeed is not something we would want to do in a perfect world."

So far, the results have been there for Bjork. So much so, that Cassidy might be willing to lift some restrictions for the promising winger — and open up a number of intriguing options for the Bruins’ forward corps.