Here are five things you should know about Anders Bjork, the winger acquired by the Buffalo Sabres in the trade that sent Taylor Hall and Curtis Lazar to Boston:
1. Sitting out: Bjork, a 24-year-old former fifth-round draft pick, has been a healthy scratch the past five games for the Bruins. A left wing listed as 6 foot and 197 pounds, Bjork has totaled two goals with three assists and a minus-8 rating while averaging only 12:18 of ice time in 30 games this season. He’s also helped Boston on the penalty kill, logging 48:08 when the Bruins were shorthanded.
2. Familiar face: Bjork and Sabres captain Jack Eichel were at the USA Hockey National Team Development Program at the same time as Sabres interim coach Don Granato, though Granato did not coach Bjork.
Bjork also represented the United States at the IIHF World Junior Championship in 2016, totaling three goals in seven games on a team that also included Auston Matthews, Matthew Tkachuk, Zach Wereneski, Brock Boeser, Charlie McAvoy and Sabres defenseman Will Borgen, among others.
3. College connection: Bjork played three seasons at Notre Dame from 2014-17, collecting 40 goals with 69 assists for 109 points in 150 games. He was named the Fighting Irish’s offensive player of the year for the 2016-17 season after scoring 21 goals in 39 games.
His father, Kirt, played for the Fighting Irish, totaling 76 goals in 171 games from 1980-83
Sabres director of analytics Jason Nightingale was a volunteer graduate assistant at Notre Dame under Anders Bjork’s college coach, Jeff Jackson in 2011-12. Bjork was also teammates with Sabres prospect Andrew Oglevie at Notre Dame.
4. Making the jump: Bjork signed an entry-level contract with the Bruins in 2017 and played in Boston the following season, collecting four goals with eight assists in 30 games as a rookie. He had a career-high nine goals in 58 games during the 2019-20 season. Bjork then appeared in 10 playoff games for the Bruins last year during the Covid-19 pandemic.
5. Team control: Bjork is under contract through the 2022-23 season after receiving a three-year contract extension in July 2020. He will count $1.6 million against the salary cap for each season.