I just want to address my personal biases before diving into this review: Oliver Bjorkstrand is one of my favorite players and I will be hard-pressed to come up with anything bad to say about him.
Fortunately, I don’t think anyone more objective than myself has many bones to pick with Ollie - he’s a solid player, he’s fun to watch, he scores goals, and he’s just a genuinely good guy. The only thing that really got him down this season was a bout of injuries, each more serious than the last - first, a torso injury to his oblique/ribs, and then he wasn’t back for long before a devastating broken leg in February. The silver lining of the season’s pandemic pause was that this gave Bjorkstrand ample time to heal and recover for the playoffs.
What sets Oliver apart from other players on the team, or in the league? For me, it’s the word “quality.” He creates quality opportunities, he plays quality games, he takes quality shots, and he scores quality goals. As long as he stays healthy, I don’t think there’s any reason to expect anything less from him in upcoming seasons. Not only is he a great player, but he makes the other players around him shine as well.
Oliver Bjorkstrand 2019-20 Stats
Games Played: 49
5v5 CF%: 54.5%
5v5 FF%: 56.10%
Games Played: 10
5v5 CF%: 47.58%
5v5 FF%: 48.96%
In 2018, Oliver Bjorkstrand signed a 3-year, $7,500,000 contract with the Blue Jackets, including $7,500,000 guaranteed, and an annual average salary of $2,500,000. In 2020-21, Bjorkstrand will earn a base salary of $2,500,000 while carrying a cap hit of $2,500,000. He is an RFA prior to 2021-22.
Well it’s gotta be when he scored both goals to win the game against the Rangers in January, right?
Definitely the leg injury - in a season so full of injuries for the Blue Jackets, this one really upset me. Again, there were not many silver linings to be found this year - but one of them was the pause that gave Bjorkstrand the chance to recover before the playoffs.
Well, how do you think Bjorky did this year? Let’s talk about it in the comments, and give him a grade right here:
How would you grade Oliver Bjorkstrand’s season?
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