The Columbus Blue Jackets and the Seattle Kraken made a deal on Friday. The Blue Jackets traded right winger Oliver Bjorkstrand of Herning, Denmark to the Kraken for a third round draft pick and a fourth round draft pick in the 2023 National Hockey League Entry Draft. Bjorkstrand will be joining his second National Hockey League team as he spent the last seven seasons with the Columbus Jackets.
Bjorkstrand has 28 goals and 29 assists for 57 points in 80 games. He was a -35 with 16 penalty minutes, 19 power-play points, one game-winning goal, 215 shots on goal, 10 faceoff wins, 31 blocked shots, 85 hits, 57 takeaways and 33 giveaways. It is interesting that Bjorkstrand received one third place vote for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for the most gentlemanly player despite being awful defensively.
Just How Bad on Defense?
Bjorkstrand had the third worst plus/minus in the National Hockey League this past season. The only two players who were worse were Keith Yandle of the Philadelphia Flyers (-47) and Seth Jones of the Chicago Blackhawks (-37). Both Yandle and Jones are American defensemen. Yandle is from Boston, Massachusetts and Jones is from Arlington, Texas. Yandle made hockey history this past year by playing in his 965th consecutive game, breaking the previous record by Doug Jarvis with 964 games. Yandle was able to his extend his streak to 989 games before it ended. Heading into the 2022-23 season, Phil Kessel of the Arizona Coyotes should break Yandle’s streak as his streak is currently at an active streak of 982 games.
Bjorkstand scored his lone game-winning goal during the 2021-22 season on January 8, 2022. It came from Jakub Voracek of Kladno, Czech Republic and Adam Boqvist of Falun, Sweden at the five minute mark of the third period in a 4-3 Blue Jackers win over the New Jersey Devils. It was Bjorkstand’s 11th goal of the 2021-22 season and 12th game-winning goal of his career.
Career Regular Season Statistics
Bjorkstrand has 111 goals and 123 assists for 234 points in 382 games. He was a -20 with 74 penalty minutes, 43 power-play points, 12 game-winning goals, 26 faceoff wins, 168 blocked shots, 300 hits, 199 takeaways and 139 giveaways.
Career Stanley Cup Playoffs Statistics
In 31 games, Bjorkstand has six goals and six assists for 12 points. He is a -8 with two power play goals, three game-winning goals, 64 shots on goal, 18 blocked shots, 29 hits, 16 takeaways and 14 giveaways.
Despite being from Denmark, Bjorkstand played his junior hockey in the United States with the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League. He was the Blue Jackets’ third round draft pick, 89th overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Bjorkstrand is sixth all-time in points among Danish players with 234. He is behind Frans Nielsen (473 points), Nikolaj Ehlers (358 points), Lars Eller (348 points), Mikkel Boedker (327 points), and Jannik Hansen (256 points). Bjorkstrand is fifth all-time in points among Danish players with 111. He is behind Nielsen (167 goals), Ehlers (164 goals), Eller (153 goals), and Boedker (118 goals). Bjorkstrand is sixth all-time in assists among Danish Players with 123. He is behind Nielsen (306 assists), Boedker (209 assists), Eller (195 assists), Ehlers (194 assists), and Hansen (147 assists).
Bjorkstrand joins a list of several new Kraken players. They include Andrey Burakovsky, Martin Jones, Justin Schultz and Shane Wright.