Blue Jackets ink Wheat King duo

By Aaron Vickers

Just hours before the deadline for 2002 draft picks, the Columbus Blue Jackets announced the signing of Tim Konsorada,
the second of two Brandon Wheat King selections to sign with the
Columbus Blue Jackets this offseason.

Konsorada, the captain of the 2003-04 edition of the Brandon Wheat
Kings, spent the opening five months of the Western Hockey League
season on the injured reserve list with a separated shoulder, and
injury discovered at the Columbus Blue Jackets developmental camp in
September. Selected in the 6th round, 168th overall in the 2002 NHL
Entry Draft, Konsorada has dressed for 240 games since the 1999-00
season. Through those 240 games, Konsorada has recorded 52 goals, 110
assists, and 162 points, while adding 166 minutes in penalties. In 51
playoff games for the Wheat Kings, Konsorada has totaled 39 points,
including 10 goals and 29 assists.

A native of Fort Saskatchewan, AB, Konsorada was signed to an entry
level contract, and as per club policy, the terms were not disclosed.
Defenseman and fellow Brandon Wheat King Ole-Kristian
Tollefsen
was also signed to a similar deal. Tollefsen, selected in
the 3rd round, 65th overall, was signed just days before fellow
teammate Konsorada.

Tollefsen, who has been mentioned by General Manager Doug MacLean
several times in discussions of the future of the Columbus Blue
Jackets, has already made an impact on the Columbus brass, fans, and
future teammates. It was Tollefsen, in an intersquad game, that
injured the shoulder of then Blue Jacket sniper Geoff Sanderson.
Sanderson, now with the Vancouver Canucks, was forced to miss the
season opener for the Jackets.

His physical nature and versatility at both ends of the ice make
Tollefsen a threat to make a strong impact in the National Hockey
League, says General Manager Doug MacLean.

“(Tollefsen) is a gritty kid who’s shown a lot of character coming to
the Western Hockey League and playing hard. (It) looks like he’ll have
a chance to play.”

In fact, character is one aspect of Tollefsen’s game that may very well
be his strongest. A native of Oslo, Norway, Tollefsen has spent just
two seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings, after spending two seasons
with Lillehammer. After the Brandon Wheat Kings made Tollefsen the
ninth overall selection in the Canadian Hockey League import draft, he
joined the Wheat Kings in 2002-03, making an immediate impact in an
injury riddled season.

The signings come on the heals of signing Seattle Thunderbirds forward
and 255th overall selection in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft Steven
Goertzen
, an alternate captain with the club who spent the 2003-04
season playing at every position, except goaltender. Goertzen, a
versatile forward who spent some time on defense covering injuries for
the Thunderbirds, impressed Columbus brass with his size and speed,
despite his lack of production.