The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed restricted free agent forward Oliver Bjorkstrand to a three-year contract through the 2020-21 National Hockey League season, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.
Bjorkstrand, 23, tallied 11 goals and 29 assists for 40 points with nine penalty minutes and a +4 plus/minus rating in 82 games with Columbus in 2017-18, ranking fourth on the club in assists, sixth in points and was one of two players - Pierre-Luc Dubois - to appear in all 82 regular season games. He added 1-2-3 in six games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"Oliver is a gifted player with a tremendous shot and scoring instincts who has improved steadily during his first three seasons as a pro," said Kekalainen. "He is just scratching the surface of the type of player he can be and we believe he has the potential to be a dynamic offensive player for our club."
Selected by the Blue Jackets in the third round, 89th overall, at the 2013 NHL Draft, Bjorkstrand has appeared in 120 career NHL games and notched 21-40-61 with 15 penalty minutes and a +14 plus/minus rating. He tallied 4-4-8 and six penalty minutes in 12 games with Columbus during the 2015-16 season and added 17-12-20 and 10 penalty minutes in 51 games with the American Hockey League's Lake Erie Monsters. He then collected 10-6-16 in 17 playoff games to lead the Monsters to the 2016 Calder Cup championship en route to earning playoff most valuable player honors. He split the 2016-17 campaign between Columbus and Cleveland, collecting 6-7-13 and six penalty minutes in 26 outings with the Blue Jackets and 14-12-26 and six penalty minutes in 37 games with the Monsters.
Bjorkstrand earned Western Hockey League player of the year honors in 2014-15 when he racked up 63-55-118 and was +60 in 59 games with the Portland Winterhawks, leading the WHL in goals, points and plus/minus rating. That year was his second-straight 100-point WHL campaign as he collected 50-59-109 and was +44 in 69 outings in 2013-14. From 2011-15, he amassed 144-146-290, 142 penalty minutes and was +142 in 193 career WHL games. The Herning, Denmark native also has represented his country on numerous occasions, including the 2015 and 2018 IIHF World Championships and the 2012 and 2015 IIHF World Junior Championships.