OSKAR JELLVIK’s LUCK IS TURNING
Oskar Jellvik had an interesting freshman season last year. The Bruins draft pick scored his first career goal during a game in mid November and didn’t score again until February. Jellvik played big minutes and got regular power play time, but he seemed legitimately snakebitten for long stretches before he finally got his second goal. He looked like a genuinely good player for pretty much the entire year, but he ended his freshman campaign with just four goals despite playing in 34 games. And before he scored a few towards the end of the season, he was only scoring on something like 3 percent of his shots. He was getting almost no puck luck as a freshamn.
Jellvik has started his sophomore season with three goals in his first four games and it’s pretty clear that he’s finally getting some of the bounces that he didn’t get for all of last season. That’s not to say he hasn’t earned his hot start. Jellvik has played very well on BC’s third line and he clearly has some chemistry with Colby Ambrosio. But he’s absolutely getting some of the bounces that he didn’t get last year. He pretty much stole his first goal of the season off of Ambrosio’s stick while on Saturday night the puck pretty much found him in the perfect spot.
Charlie Leddy’s pass gets deflected at center ice but Will Vote ends up with the puck, then Vote has his possession disrupted, but Jellvik is in the perfect spot to pick up the loose puck and bury it for his third goal of the season. Probably not exactly how they drew things up, but after Jellvik had some bad puck luck last season, it’s great to see him get rewarded for playing well. He’s scored on a third of his shots so far, and while that won’t hold up over the course of a full season, it’s a pretty safe bet that he’s going to put up a whole lot more than four goals as a sophomore.
FRESHMAN LINE REMAINS ELECTRIC
It’s going to be hard not to talk about the line of Will Smith, Ryan Leonard, and Gabe Perreault here every single week. The trio of freshmen look dangerous pretty much every time they touch this ice and they were finally rewarded for their great play with some goals this past weekend. All three of them were also put on the first power play unit alongside Cutter Gauthier and Eamon Powell which felt like - to me at least - the first time that BC had their five best skaters on the ice at the same time. That unit scored a goal in each of the two games over the weekend so it’s a safe bet that they’ll be back out there this week against Michigan State.
These three really are just an absolute blast to watch. There’s a chance you’ll see something special on every single shift and the chemistry that they developed when playing together on the US National Team Development Program is just so easy to see. All three seem to have made the transition to college hockey about as smoothly as you can hope for and we should be in for a bunch of goals from them this year.
PENALTY KILL FINALLY BREAKS
BC’s penalty kill has looked awesome so far this season, but against Denver on Saturday night, they were finally asked to do too much. The Eagles had a 2-1 lead entering the third period, but they took four penalties in the final 20 minutes of play and Denver turned that into two goals - the first two goals that BC has allowed while shorthanded this year.
No matter how good your penalty kill is, it’s asking a lot for a team to play almost half of a period shorthanded. Even when they came up big and killed off a penalty with four minutes left in regulation, the Eagles shot themselves in the foot and took a roughing penalty after a whistle just six seconds later. They’re averaging just under five penalties per game and it feels like that’s a number they’ll need to bring down to hit their ceiling. There’s too much talent on this team to be spending a sixth of every game playing down a man. A lack of discipline cost the Eagles a chance at a statement win on Saturday night, let’s hope we don’t see that happen again