Bruins Prospects: How draft picks are playing overseas

EDMONTON, AB - DECEMBER 25: Matias Mantykivi #32 of Finland skates against Germany during the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship at Rogers Place on December 25, 2020 in Edmonton, Canada. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
EDMONTON, AB - DECEMBER 25: Matias Mantykivi #32 of Finland skates against Germany during the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship at Rogers Place on December 25, 2020 in Edmonton, Canada. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images) /
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The Boston Bruins are currently shut down due to COVID, with a number of players in COVID protocols and all of their games before Christmas postponed.

So now is a better time than ever to take a look at some future Bruins.

Similar to what I did in the preseason where I previewed all the Bruins draft picks playing juniors, college hockey or overseas, it’s time for a mid-season update on the Bruins prospects.

Up first is the overseas crew, with one playing in Sweden, one in Finland and one in Russia.

Oskar Jellvik

Oskar Jellvik is excelling in his third season with Djurgårdens IF J20 in the J20 Nationell, Sweden’s top junior hockey league. In 23 games, the shifty forward has 11 points and a team-leading 14 assists, good for 25 points which puts him second on the team.

The Bruins’ fifth-round pick from the 2021 draft showed signs he could excel in the J20 Nationell last season, posting 12 points in 13 games, and now is over a point-per-game player in 2021-22. He was due to stand out as one of just two draft picks on Djurgårdens IF J20 this season and he has lived up to the bill so far, helping the team to a 14-10-2-1 record, good for third in the North division of the J20 Nationell.

The biggest news for the 18-year-old is that he recently announced his commitment to Boston College for the 2022-23 season. He’ll join one of the premier college hockey programs that also has Bruins 2020 draft pick Trevor Kuntar. Boston will get a closer look with Jellvik coming over to the NCAA, especially with him stationed in Chestnut Hill.

Matias Mantykivi

In his third full season in Finland’s Liiga, Matias Mantykivi is finally putting things together. He’s off to his best start in the league, with five goals and 10 assists, good for 15 points, all career-highs, in 30 games for Ilves.

Part of it likely could be due to a switch of teams. After coming through the youth program of SaiPa, Mantykivi managed just 16 points in 91 games with SaiPa at the Liiga level. The Bruins’ sixth-round pick from 2019 made the change to a strong Ilves team this offseason and it’s benefitting him.

Is a shift to North America on the horizon for the Finnish forward? Perhaps. He’s still only 20 years old and isn’t exactly lighting up Liiga, but he’s still seventh in points on an Ilves team that ranks second in the league. Regardless, it’s been good to see Mantykivi take a step forward in 2021-22.

Roman Bychkov

It hasn’t been an easy transition for Roman Bychkov into the KHL. The 2019 fifth-round pick for Boston got his first taste of Russia’s professional league this season, as he was loaned to Amur Khabarovsk from his KHL club, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.

It was expected the 20-year-old defender would get some time with Amur Khabarovsk considering they are usual bottom-dwellers in the KHL and it started promising. While his time on ice was inconsistent, Bychkov played in their first seven straight games and eight of their first nine. But since then, he played in just five games over November and December before getting sidelined with an injury.

In total, Bychkov has played in 13 games this season with one assist. He certainly can use some more time adjusting to the KHL before coming over to the AHL.