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Finnish NHL Draft Prospect Bjorkqvist Commits to Providence

Matt Dewkett

Kasper Bjorkqvist's stock for the 2016 NHL Draft rose significantly this season. Among European skaters, he moved from 35th to 22nd between the midterm and final rankings by NHL Central Scouting.

Now, in addition to likely hearing his name called in the third round of June's draft in Buffalo, Bjorkqvist has a destination to play hockey next fall. The Espoo, Finland native has verbally committed to play college hockey for Nate Leaman at Providence College, according to Mark Divver of the Providence Journal.

Bjorkqvist is a 1997-born prospect who was on the Finnish team that took home the Gold Medal at this winter's World Junior Championship. He had a goal and an assist in the tournament. The six-foot-one Bjorkqvist has also competed for his country in the U18 World Championship and the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.

He had 29 goals and 39 assists in 47 games played for the Espoo Blues U20 in Finnish Junior A action this winter. His commitment to Providence continues an upward trend in the recruiting prowess of Leaman and his assistants, Scott Borek and Kris Mayotte.

Bjorkqvist chose Providence over Hockey East foes UMass Lowell and UConn.