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Getting To Know: Tobias Bjornfot

A deeper dive into the highly-touted 2019 first-round draft pick

by Jack Jablonski @Jabs_13 / LAKings.com

Sandwiched between two very offensively talented 2019 Kings draft picks, in Alex Turcotte (5th overall) and Arthur Kaliyev (33rd overall), Tobias Bjornfot, the Kings 2019 first-round selection, 22nd overall has fast tracked his way to the NHL with consistent, puck-moving and hard-to-play-against defense. The capable two-way defenseman has spent little making his way to the big club. 

The self-described "typical Swede" was born in Upplands Vasby, a city with 40,000 residents just 30 minutes north of Sweden's capital, Stockholm. From a young age, Bjornfot represented Sweden internationally, starting at the U16 level. Simultaneously, Bjornfot was lighting up the various junior leagues in Sweden, averaging just under a point-per-game at the U16 Division 1 level over 34 games (13-13=26). 

Having worn letters on his chest growing up, the leadership trait in Bjornfot has been present in both the locker room and on the ice. In 2019, Bjornfot was named captain over five other first-round draft picks for Team Sweden in the IIHF World U18 Championships and won the gold medal. 

Following that 2018-19 season, Bjornfot was selected by the Kings 22nd overall in the 2019 NHL Draft with the pick that the team had acquired in the Jake Muzzin-to-Toronto trade. Bjornfot described that moment as "a dream come true and an amazing feeling." Having never been to California prior to being drafted, Bjornfot chose to go all-in and made his way permanently to California and joined the Organization in the AHL/NHL for the 2019-20 season. 

Impressively, Bjornfot made the Kings roster out of training camp and found himself making his NHL debut in the season's first game against the Edmonton Oilers. In 15:02 of ice time, Bjornfot did not record a point. The then 18-year-old defenseman played two more games with the Kings in the opening month of the season before being sent to the Ontario Reign. Bjornfot appeared in 44 games for the Reign during the 2019-20 season and recorded 19 points (6-13=19) while also holding onto a plus-13 plus/minus rating. 

Tweet from @LAKings: .@TobiasBjornfot scores a goal in his debut with the @OntarioReign 👏The 18-year-old Bjornfot also becomes the first player born in the 21st century to score a goal in AHL history 😅 pic.twitter.com/cBEIaD1p8C

This season, Bjornfot has played just one game with the Reign and appeared 20 games for the Kings.Though, the young and talented defenseman is still looking for that first career NHL goal, Bjornfot hasn't been held completely off the scoresheet. In 23 career NHL games, Bjornfot has recorded four assists. 

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