The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed defenseman Tim Berni to a three-year entry level contract, club General Manager and Alternate Governor Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. Berni was the Blue Jackets' sixth round pick, 159th, overall, at the 2018 NHL Draft.
Berni, 20, registered four goals and seven assists for 11 points with eight penalty minutes and a +8 plus/minus rating, while averaging 16:41 of ice time in 45 contests with the ZSC Lions in the Swiss National League (NLA) in 2019-20. He set career highs in goals, points, plus/minus and games played and finished tied for second among team blueliners in goals.
A native of Mannedorf, Switzerland, Berni has posted 5-14-19 with 16 penalty minutes in 94 career games with ZSC since making his NLA debut in 2017-18. He had 1-7-8 and eight penalty minutes on 10:21 of ice time in 41 outings with the Lions in 2018-19. He made his league debut with ZSC in 2017-18, skating in eight regular season contests and 15 playoff outings as the club captured the 2018 NLA Championship. He has added 6-10-16 in 39 career outings with the GCK Lions in Switzerland's Second Tier division from 2017-19.
The 5-11, 174-pound defenseman has represented Switzerland in several international tournaments. He played in the 2018, 2019 and 2020 IIHF World Junior Championships, serving as captain for the country at the 2020 tournament and being named a top three player for his team in both the 2019 and 2020 tournaments. Berni also skated at the 2017 and 2018 IIHF U18 World Championships.