Jesper Boqvist the latest unsung hero to step up for Bruins


“He’s an easy guy to root for.”

Boston Bruins' Jesper Boqvist (70) celebrates with Linus Ullmark (35) after scoring in overtime of an NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers, Saturday, April 6, 2024, in Boston.
Jesper Boqvist lifted Boston to a fourth-straight win on Saturday. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Jesper Boqvist didn’t have much time to think as he glided in against Sergei Bobrovsky.

Had he started to assess the circumstances at play with the puck on his stick, things could have gone differently for the 25-year-old forward.

“I’ve got to be honest, from the blue line down I didn’t think too much,” Boqvist admitted postgame. “I just kind of let it happen. That’s when good stuff happens, I guess. If you overthink it, that’s when you (expletive) up.”

It’s hard to argue with Boqvist’s logic, especially given the end result.

In one of the Bruins’ most impressive wins of the season, it was another unsung hero in Boqvist who delivered — besting Bobrovsky with a short side snipe 2:05 into overtime to secure a 3-2 win over the Panthers.

With the win, the Bruins have now won four straight games — and close out the regular-season slate with a perfect 4-0-0 record against a top Cup contender in the Panthers.

Boqvist’s game-winning tally helped strengthen Boston’s hold on the Atlantic Division — with the Bruins holding a five-point lead over the Panthers with four games to go before the playoffs.

In a 2023-24 campaign where the Bruins have already received sizable contributions from bargain-bin signings like Morgan Geekie and NHLers once mired in hockey purgatory like Danton Heinen, perhaps it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Boqvist was the one to deliver in OT.

The road hasn’t been easy for Boqvist, who found himself thrown onto the open market last summer after the Devils didn’t extend him a qualifying offer. He eventually signed with Boston nearly two weeks after the initial start of free agency in mid-July.

Even after landing with Boston, Boqvist went through three different assignments to Providence — logging 31 games in the AHL ranks already this season.

But the Swedish forward has primarily stuck around with the NHL club since the new year, scoring six goals and posting 14 points over 43 games with Boston.

“It was awesome. He works incredibly hard, and he’s had a great story this year,” Charlie McAvoy said of Boqvist. “He was up and then down, working hard down (in Providence). Then he came up and made the most of his opportunities, carving out a space for himself on this team and playing every single day. It’s awesome. He’s an easy guy to root for, he’s a great teammate and I couldn’t be happier for him.”

Boqvist’s speed has allowed him to carve out a regular role in Jim Montgomery’s lineup, including a recent promotion up to the third line — where his wheels could be utilized next to another fleet-footed forward in Jake DeBrusk.

Regardless of where exactly he lands in the Bruins’ bottom-six personnel, Boqvist believes Boston offered the ideal landing spot for him as he focused on re-asserting himself as an everyday NHLer.

“The standards are so high here. Like, even just in practice, I feel like you just get better, right? All these guys work so hard and you’ve got to bring it every day to keep up with these guys,” Boqvist said. “I feel like just being here every day makes you better.”

Of course, a perfect regular-season showing against the Panthers won’t ease the sting of last year’s first-round exit — nor does it guarantee sustained success during this upcoming playoff push.

But after treading water for over a month following the All-Star break, the Bruins seem to finding their game at the right time on the NHL calendar. Since Jim Montgomery’s public callout of his team following a lackluster practice, Boston has won five of its last six games. 

“I feel like the pressure is from within the room,” Boqvist said. “We’re going to have to make sure we’re ready to go when it’s playoff time. I feel like the last week or so here, we’ve played really well and really kept it to Bruins hockey that we’ve been talking about. … We’ve just got to keep building.”

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