NEWARK, NJ - Jesper Boqvist has a couple of brains to pick over the summer.
Boqvist, who lives about an hour and a half from Devils forward Jesper Bratt in their native Sweden says along with Bratt, he'll have a few questions for his fellow country-men Washington Capitals Niklas Backstrom and Calgary Flames Elias Lindholm when he returns to Sweden after New Jersey Devils Development Camp.
Video: RAW | Jesper Boqvist
Boqvist is hoping to compete for a spot on the Devils NHL roster for the 2019-20 season when he arrives back in New Jersey for main camp. He'll lean on the experience of his fellow Swedes to help prepare him for the process.
"We have a couple of guys back in Gävle that play [in the NHL]," Boqvist said. "Like, [Niklas] Backstrom and [Elias] Lindholm. I'll skate with them later in August, so hopefully, I can ask them some questions."
Questions about how to successfully adapt his game from the European sized ice to the NHL sized ice.
"Probably everything, I want to ask them everything," he said. "Especially about small ice and the game [in North America]. I have to learn it quick and hopefully take my game here too."
When it comes to skating, Boqvist doesn't have to rely too much on advice. His skating ability is one of his strongest assets. "I would put him up against anyone skating wise," Devils assistant general manager Tom Fitzgerald said back in May. "It's just effortless for him, he glides faster than some guys skate."
The 20-year-old recently finished his first full season playing against grown men in the top Swedish league the SHL. Make mention of his personal accolades, 35 points in 52 games, top 20 in goals, top 16 in assists and tied for second in points by players under the age of 21 in the SHL, Boqvist will quickly remind you that despite his personal success, Brynäs IF - his SHL team - didn't do very well this past season. Personal accolades don't mean much when the team doesn't find success. The experience, however, is one he feels he's greatly benefited from.
"I think it did great for me," he said. "Of course, we had a pretty bad year as a team, that was tough. Lose a lot of games, but it was a good year for me. I played a lot of minutes and was on the top line almost every game and powerplay and stuff. I learned a lot and we had some older guys who had experienced some stuff I haven't, so you learn a lot from those guys."
The most important thing he's learned from them?
"Probably keep your head up always, and trust your instincts and trust yourself."
Something he plans to do in his quest to adapt his game to the NHL ice.
"I'm going to try and trust my instincts here too. It's a little bit different game of course, but I'm going to try and learn it quickly and do my stuff after that."
Tough Questions With… Jesper Boqvist
What was your favorite sports rivalry growing up, outside of hockey? I'm a Liverpool fan in soccer, so every team around them! Chelsea, Arsenal. I haven't been to a game yet, but my dad and I plan to go after next season. My dad was a Liverpool fan, so that's where that comes from.
What movie could you watch over and over again? It's definitely a funny one, 'White Chicks'. I really like that one.
What's the most expensive thing you've ever broken? My iPhone, probably.
What's your least favorite nickname that you've been given? Some guys here call me 'Bo' and that's only here.
If you could speak any language fluently, what would it be? French, it just sounds so cool.
What food do you crave most? Probably pancakes. Swedish pancakes. They're pretty big and thin.
What meal can you best prepare for yourself? It's an easy one for me. Steak and sweet potato fries.
If you weren't a hockey player, what career path would you pursue? I was pretty good at soccer, so I'd go after that.
Is a hotdog a sandwich? No.
What character on TV's life would you like to be able to live? Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother.
What chore at home do you least like doing? Probably laundry, I'm just so bad at it. I don't know, I just struggle so much with it.