Penguins forward prospect Kasper Bjorkqvist decided to forgo his senior season and signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Penguins, Jim Rutherford announced Wednesday.
The two-way deal is worth $925,000 at the NHL level and $70,000 at the AHL level.
Bjorkqvist, who turns 22 this summer, was the Penguins' second-round pick in 2016 and is one of the top forward prospects in the organization.
Bjorkqvist, a native of Espoo, Finland, captained Providence College this season. He was the Friars' No. 2 goal-scorer with 17 goals, and he finished fourth in scoring with 30 points in 42 games. Both were career highs.
He's wearing No. 20 in these clips:
Bjorkqvist recorded 36 goals and 26 assists in 112 games with Providence.
One of Bjorkqvist's biggest strengths is his physical fitness. He's 6-feet-1 and 200 pounds, and Bill Guerin said Bjorkqvist shatters the Penguins' fitness testing records. Both Guerin and director of player development Scott Young have called Bjorkqvist a "specimen."
The organization is high on Bjorkqvist.
"Kasper was able to produce in big games throughout his college career, and he was fortunate to play in a lot of them," Guerin said in a team release. "Playing for an outstanding program in Providence allowed him to go far in the NCAA Tournament each season, so he received a lot of great experience. ... We were very happy with the steady progression in Kasper's production. I know Kasper expected that improvement in his personal numbers each season. He is also a very disciplined hockey player who plays a very team-oriented game."
On the ice, Bjorkqvist draws frequent comparison to Patric Hornqvist for his net-front presence and two-way play.
Dejan and I spoke about Bjorkqvist's development in a Morning Java segment last week: