The New Jersey Devils believe that Jesper Boqvist has a chance to be in their top six for a long time, but they need to make sure he continues to develop.
The New Jersey Devils have a lot of really good young forwards in the mix. They won the draft lottery twice and also hit on a few other draft picks over the past few years. One of them was Jesper Boqvist. The Devils took him with their 2nd-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Since then, he has developed into one of the higher touted prospects in the organization.
He really isn’t, however, a prospect anymore. He has played the entire 2019-20 season split between the New Jersey Devils and the Binghamton Devils of the American Hockey League. He has had ups and downs in his time with the NHL Devils but has been strong in Binghamton. The key for Boqvist next season is to come to the NHL and get the proper amount of minutes on a line with the proper linemates.
Boqvist is the type of player that has the ability to make sweet passes and score goals. He is a winger that you want to play with the likes of Nico Hischier, Jack Hughes, Nikita Gusev, and Jesper Bratt on a regular basis. He had no success playing with people like Miles Wood, Kevin Rooney, or John Hayden. If he comes in next year and gets to play on skilled lines he might be able to start advancing his development even more.
This season, he had 4 goals in 35 games played. He is still looking for his first career assist in the NHL, which he should get next season. His goal scoring is going to come but his ability to make plays is something that he can build on as well. He has such a high ceiling as far as his skill so it is up to the Devils to use him in the proper way.
One thing that should be on the mind of the Devils when hiring a coach this summer, is how the candidates will use Boqvist. They need someone who knows what he is capable of turning into if put with the right people in the right situations. He isn’t going to become a star overnight but he needs to start showing some progress in the near future. It was really smart to have him in the AHL at certain points this season so he can feel good about his game.
During the summer, Boqvist should be concerned with gaining strength and working on his skills so he can come in and be an impact player next season. He has all of the tools, now it is about putting them all together so he can be a part of the Devils’ core for a long time.