The Slap Shot: A New Weapon In Oliver Bjorkstrand's Arsenal

By Jacob Nitzberg on April 8, 2019 at 1:45 pm
Apr 2, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Oliver Bjorkstrand (28) celebrates a goal during the third period against the Boston Bruins at Nationwide Arena.
Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Folks, Oliver Bjorkstrand is playing out of his mind right now.

The Danish-born winger notched eight goals and two assists in the Blue Jackets' last eight regular season games, including a six-game goal-scoring streak.

He's looked great with Alexandre Texier, the Blue Jackets' recent call-up who scored his first NHL goal against the Ottawa Senators in the regular season finale. 

Bjorkstrand's dynamic offense play makes him a weapon from anywhere on the ice, possessing an excellent shot along with top-notch stick handling and speed. John Tortorella has noted that, since the trade deadline, Bjorkstrand's strongest asset has been his work ethic – which, in coach speak, means moving his feet and being hard on pucks. 

In doing so, he's opened himself up to more scoring opportunities (and cashing in).

Despite playing on the third line, Bjorkstrand has been one of the Blue Jackets' best players recently, although he hasn't been receiving the ice time that he may deserve.

Here's the first slap shot that Bjorkstrand scored recently, in a 4-0 win against the Buffalo Sabres. He found himself in great position for a one-timer in the middle of the ice. And it was pretty much unstoppable.

Here's one more angle of that goal, in slow-motion,

Then, in the last game of the regular season, he tallied another against Ottawa. There's some serious velocity on that puck.

We've always known that Bjorkstrand has one of the best wrist shots in the NHL, but now that he's added a slap shot to his arsenal, his offensive game is even more difficult to defend for opposing teams.

The Blue Jackets will certainly need Bjorkstrand at his best as they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and we'll have all the playoff coverage you need. Click here to take yourself to our Stanley Cup playoffs coverage page.

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