Oliver Bjorkstrand
Image: WHL

Oliver Bjorkstrand

Hometown:

Herning Denmark

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1995-04-10

Position:

RW

Eligible for draft:

2013

Shoots:

Right

Drafted:

2013

Height:

5-11

Acquired:

3rd round (89th overall), 2013

Weight:

164 lbs.

<<<<<<< Updated upstream
History

2010-11: Oliver Bjorkstrand made his pro hockey debut as a 15-year-old, playing in a playoff game with Herning Blue Fox’s second team in his native Denmark after splitting the year between the Herning U20 and U17 teams. In 11regular season games with the U20 team he scored 13 goals with 6 assists and had 2 penalty minutes. Herning finished first in the West Division and lost to East Division champion Rodovre in the final. Bjorkstrand was the team’s leading scorer in the playoffs with 1 goal and 7 assists in six games.

2011-12: Bjorkstrand was one of the youngest players in Denmark’s AL-Bank Ligaen, skating in 36 regular season games and 10 playoff contest for league champion Herning. He also played five games for Herning’s second team and represented Denmark in the U20 and U18 World Junior Championship tournaments. He scored 13 goals with 13 assists during the regular season and added 1 goal with 2 assists and 4 penalty minutes in the playoffs for the Blue Fox. In five games with Herning’s second team he scored 1 goal with 2 assists. Bjorkstrand scored 2 goals and was minus-five in six games at the 2012 U20 WCJ for 10th place Denmark. He was the second-leading scorer for the U18 team, which was also relegated after finishing last, scoring 4 goals with 3 assists in six games. Bjorkstrand was selected by Portland in the first round (26th overall) of the 2012 CHL Import Draft.

2012-13: Bjorkstrand scored at nearly a point per game pace for WHL champion Portland in his first season in North America and played for Denmark in the 2013 Division 1A World Junior Championship. He scored 31 goals with 32 assists and was plus-38 with 10 penalty minutes in 65 games for the Winterhawks. Portland won 57 of 72 games in regulation during the season and defeated Edmonton in the WHL Finals, the third straight year the Winterhawks were in the finals. Bjorkstrand scored 8 goals with 11 assists and was plus-11 with 4 penalty minutes in 21 playoff games. Denmark finished third in the D1A U20 WJC tournament, with Bjorkstrand scoring 5 goals with 3 assists and finishing plus-four with 2 penalty minutes in five games. He was ranked 36th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2013 NHL Draft.

2013-14: Bjorkstrand was one of three WHL players to score 50 goals and was third in the league behind Spokane’s Mitch Holmberg and Portland teammate Nicolas Petan with 109 points in his second season with the Winterhawks. He scored 50 goals with 59 assists and was plus-44 with 36 penalty minutes on a dominant Portland team. The Winterhawks were first in the U.S. Division and defeated Kelowna, which had the league’s top record, in the Western Conference Finals before falling to Memorial Cup champion Edmonton in the WHL Finals. Bjorkstrand scored 16 goals with 17 assists and was plus-17 with 8 penalty minutes in 21 playoff games. He was an assistant captain for the Denmark U20 team that was a perfect 5-0 in dominating the competition at the 2014 Division 1A World Juniors in Poland. He scored 4 goals with 2 assists and was plus-2 with 2 penalty minutes. Bjorkstrand signed a three-year entry-level contract with Columbus in December 2013. 

2014-15: Bjorkstrand led the WHL in goals (63) and points (118) in his final season with Portland and played for Denmark in the 2015 World Junior and World Championship tournaments. He had 55 assists and was +60 with 35 penalty minutes in 59 regular season games for the Winterhawks. Portland  finished second in the U.S. Division and reached the Western Conference Finals against eventual WHL champion Kelowna. Bjorkstrand scored 13 goals with 12 assists and was +8 with 10 penalty minutes in 17 playoff games. He had no points and was -3 with 2 penalty minutes in three games for Denmark’s national team at the World Championship and scored 4 goals with 1 assist, finishing -4 with 2 penalty minutes, in five games for the Denmark U20 team at the World Juniors. 

2015-16: Bjorkstrand made his NHL debut with the Blue Jackets in a game against Detroit on March 17th after spending most of his first pro season with the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters. He scored his first two NHL goals two nights later against New Jersey. Bjorkstrand scored 15 goals with 10 assists and was -1 with 8 penalty minutes in 46 regular season games for Lake Erie, missing 18 games with an upper-body injury.

Talent Analysis

Bjorkstrand has a heavy shot and a quick release. He is an aggressive forechecker with little fear of traffic in the attacking zone. Bjorkstrand plays a responsible defensive game but his strong suit is a nose for the net. He is a pure goal scorer that makes a living off creating scoring chances. He does not have much strength, but relies on his speed to outlast defenders. Bjorkstrand is extremely fun to watch.

Future

Bjorkstrand made his pro debut with the AHL's Lake Erie Monsters, spending most of the 2015-16 season with the Columbus affiliate before joining the Blue Jackets late in the year. Slowed by an injury in mid-season, he is showing signs of being an impact scorer and possible top-six forward. Bjorkstrand will make a strong push for a roster spot with the Blue Jackets in 2016-17 and figures to be a fixture in the lineup for Columbus for years to come.

Columbus Blue Jackets’ AHL prospects recovering from slow start

by Chris Roberts
on
Photo: Michael Paliotta leads all Lake Erie Monsters defencemen with 21 points in 58 games. (Courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

Photo: Michael Paliotta leads all Lake Erie Monsters defencemen with 21 points in 58 games. (Courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

 

 

A little over a month ago, the Columbus Blue Jackets AHL affiliate was mired in mediocrity. The first year of the Lake Erie M0nsters’ affiliation with the Jackets, while working well logistically, wasn’t producing a winning product in the NHL or AHL. But save for the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Monsters have been one of the best teams in the AHL over the past 30 days. Read more»

Top 50 NHL Prospects: Right wings dominate 41-50 group in Fall rankings

by HF Staff
on
John Gibson - Anaheim Ducks

Photo: Anaheim Ducks goaltending prospect John Gibson won his first four games of the 2015-16 season playing for the Ducks’ new AHL affiliate, the San Diego Gulls (courtesy of Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire)

 

 

The Hockey’s Future ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects is a group project that attempts to determine which prospects will go on to have the greatest impact in their NHL careers. This generally means the highest upside in terms of points but – as in the case of some of the defensemen – the overall effect a player like a Duncan Keith can have on a game does not go unnoticed. Read more»

2015 Prospect Tournaments: Bjorkstrand leads Blue Jackets to second straight Traverse City championship

by Sean Shapiro
on
Oliver Bjorkstrand - Columbus Blue Jackets

Photo: Columbus Blue Jackets forward prospect Oliver Bjorkstrand wrapped up his WHL career in 2014-15 with a WHL scoring title, posting 63 goals and 118 points in 59 games (courtesy of Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire)

 

 

The cupboard is well stocked for Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen.

The Blue Jackets have one of the deepest prospect pools in the NHL, and a winning culture is already starting to take hold amongst those players. Read more»

Many fresh faces among Columbus Blue Jackets top 20 prospects

by David Hahn
on
Photo: Zach Werenski was a force on the blueline for the U.S. at the 2015 World Junior Championships, even pitching in offensively with two points in five games. (Courtesy of John Crouch/Icon Sportswire)

Photo: Zach Werenski was a force on the blueline for the U.S. at the 2015 World Junior Championships, even pitching in offensively with two points in five games. (Courtesy of John Crouch/Icon Sportswire)

 

 

Columbus Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen and his brain trust molded the future of the surging organization with a pair of trades and a fantastic draft in June. At the draft, the Blue Jackets identified a need to boost their defense and came away with a number of high-quality rearguards. Read more»

Hockey’s Future 2015 NHL Prospect of the Year: Larkin parlays strong NCAA season into first pro contract

by Chris Roberts
on
Dylan Larkin - University of Michigan

Photo: Detroit Red Wings prospect Dylan Larkin turned in a strong freshman season for the University of Michigan, posting 15 goals and 47 points in 35 games in 2014-15 (courtesy of Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

 

 

Considering all the factors involved – position, league, age, to name a few – it isn’t easy to compare prospects across multiple levels. But, because there can be only one Hockey’s Future NHL Prospect of the Year, we set out to make those comparisons. Read more»