Now, there's a big piece secured.
The Blue Jackets announced Wednesday that they've signed Oliver Bjorkstrand to a five-year contract extension through 2025-26. The deal is worth $27 million, or $5.4 million AAV.
"Oliver is a gifted player that has shown steady improvement throughout career to this point and we couldn't be happier that he will be a Blue Jacket for a very long time," said Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen. "He is a dangerous offensive player, and we believe he will be an even more impactful player for us as he continues to develop and mature in this league."
The new deal takes effect next season and "buys" four of Bjorkstrand's unrestricted free agency years.
year by year:— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) January 6, 2021
$6 M https://t.co/MRFSw4KHr8
Bjorkstrand has become a critical piece of the Blue Jackets roster, posting consecutive 20-goal seasons and really coming into his own in the last two seasons.
From the team's release:
Bjorkstrand, 25, has recorded 65 goals and 68 assists for 133 points with 35 penalty minutes and a cumulative +30 plus/minus rating in 246 career games with the Blue Jackets since making his NHL debut during the 2015-16 season. He has notched 20-plus goals in back-to-back seasons and three-straight campaigns of 36 points or more. He has added 6-6-12 in 31 career playoff outings.
The Blue Jackets selected Bjorkstrand in the third round, No. 89 overall, in the 2013 NHL Draft after an outstanding junior hockey career with the WHL's Portland Winterhawks.
This story will be updated.