Battalion Breakdown is a closer look at the Blue Jackets' past season from a numerical standpoint, starting with the highest jersey number and counting down to the lowest. Today, BlueJackets.com examines Oliver Bjorkstrand's season and how it impacted Columbus in the 2017-18 campaign.
Birthdate: April 10, 1995
Height/Weight: 6-0, 177
Oliver Bjorkstrand already had NHL experience, but last season was his first full campaign in the league.
He wasn't a rookie, but he also wasn't a seasoned veteran with an NHL track record of what to expect statistically. Bjorkstrand had eight points (four goals, four assists) in 12 games in 2015-16, in his first taste of the NHL, and then followed it up with 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in 26 games the following year.
Those 21 points in 38 games to begin his NHL career, an average of 0.55 points per game, made Bjorkstrand an intriguing case study heading into training camp a year ago. Using per-game averages based off those first two partial seasons, Bjorkstrand's projected offensive output worked out to be 21.6 goals, 23.7 assists and 45.3 points over the course of an 82-game regular season.
The 23-year old forward didn't quite live up to those numbers, going through some extended stretches without being heard from, but he finished just five behind that point projection - scoring 10 fewer goals than expected and assisting on six more.