Oct. 5, 2017
By Jane Horvat
NOTRE DAME, Ind — Former Notre Dame All-American Anders Bjork is set to make his National Hockey League debut for Boston on Thursday night (Oct. 5) when the Bruins take on the Nashville Predators at the TD Garden in their 2017-18 home opener.
Bjork is one of seven former Notre Dame players to make opening night NHL rosters this season, joining Ian Cole (Pittsburgh), Stephen Johns (Dallas), Anders Lee (New York Islanders),Kyle Palmieri (New Jersey), Bryan Rust (Pittsburgh) and Riley Sheahan (Detroit).
Bjork will also become head coach Jeff Jackson’s 17th former player at Notre Dame to go on to play in the NHL. In addition, Bjork will be the 31st player in program history to reach the NHL.
– Fluto Shinzawa (@GlobeFluto) October 5, 2017
Bjork earned First Team Hockey East All-Star and Second Team East CCM/AHCA All-America honors following the 2016-17 season after helping to lead the Irish to the third Frozen Four appearance in program history. In 39 games as a junior, he scored 21 goals and added 31 assists for 52 points, ranking first on the team in assists and points and tied for first in goals.. He was also named a Top Ten Hobey Baker Finalist and the Northeast Regional’s Most Outstanding Player after leading the Irish past Minnesota and UMass Lowell to the Frozen Four.
In 115 career games with Notre Dame, Bjork scored 40 goals and added 69 assists for 109 points. He finished his career with nine power-play goals, three shorthanded goals and six game-winners, the most by Notre Dame player since Anders Lee had seven in 2010-11.
Bjork and his father Kirt (a 1983 All-American who totaled 161 points on 76 goals and 85 assists) were the fourth father-son duo to play at Notre Dame. The Bjorks were the first father-son tandem to each register 100 career points at Notre Dame as well being the only duo to earn All-American recognition while skating for the Irish.
After his junior season at Notre Dame, Bjork was added to the roster to compete for Team USA at the 2017 IIHF Men’s World Championship (Cologne, Germany, and Paris, France).
Bjork was a fifth-round selection (146th overall) by the Boston Bruins in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Bjork signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Boston organization in the summer of 2017.
This preseason, Bjork skated in six games with Boston, notching goals against both the Montreal Canadiens (Sept. 18) and the Chicago Blackhawks (Sept. 25.)
Bruins player development coordinator Jamie Langenbrunner is pleased with what he’s seeing in Bjork.
“He’s got a skill level that’s pretty high-end. He can make plays. He kind of dances on his skates a little bit … light on his skates but strong on his feet,” Langenbrunner said to NHL reporter Eric Russo.
Coaches, reporters and fans alike will get to see more of Bjork on the ice tonight at 7 p.m. ET.
— ND —
Jane Horvat is a student intern for Fighting Irish Media. In addition to working with hockey, volleyball and football, she contributes to the writing team and is an English and Romance languages major. A member of the Glynn Family Honors Program, Horvat writes for the online art database See Art Differently and hails from Rockford, Illinois.