The Columbus Blue Jackets made a few additions close to the NHL trade deadline. They swapped defenseman Dalton Prout for the New Jersey Devils defenseman Kyle Quincey. Other moves the Blue Jackets made were acquiring Lauri Korpikoski from the Dallas Stars and claiming center Zac Dalpe off of waivers. Even though those are the only moves the Blue Jackets made to bring new players into the system, the best trade deadline addition to their NHL roster may have came from inside the organization, Oliver Bjorkstrand.
Columbus Blue Jackets Best Trade Deadline Addition
When Bjorkstrand was assigned to the Cleveland Monsters after just three games into the season, many people, including some in the organization, were surprised. When Bjorkstrand got to Cleveland, he seemed to be on one mission to prove he deserved to be on the Blue Jackets roster. He did just that, earning 26 points in 37 games, including 14 goals.
That performance proved to be enough for head coach John Tortorella and general manager Jarmo Kekalainen to call up Bjorkstrand from Cleveland on Feb. 15 versus Toronto. He stepped in for the injured Scott Hartnell. It was then that he scored his first NHL goal of the season. From that game, Bjorkstrand’s play only went up having a goal just two games later versus the New York Rangers, and a goal waived off versus Pittsburgh. His play was so outstanding that Tortorella decided he would stay on the roster once Hartnell was healthy, and would change the lines as a result.
Bjorkstrand with the Blue Jackets
Many players need an adjustment period playing in the NHL for on a full-time basis. Bjorkstrand skipped right over the adjustment period, however, and got right to work on a line with top center Alexander Wennberg and captain Nick Foligno. Since his call up, Bjorkstrand has earned six goals and 10 points in 17 games.
While Bjorkstrand’s stats have been impressive, there is something more to his game that makes him the best trade deadline addition. What makes Bjorkstrand so important is the spark and the confidence he brings to the Blue Jackets offense. That spark is something that has been notably absent since he left the lineup due to injury against Toronto on March 22. With Bjorkstrand in the lineup the Blue Jackets are 15-4-1 with 3.11 goals per game. And since his injury, the Blue Jackets are 2-2-2 while only averaging 1.5 goals per game. Throughout the season, they have averaged 2.95 goals/game compared to 3.13 in Bjorkstrand’s 22 total games.
Even though the Blue Jackets acquired veteran talent like Korpikoski and Quincey, who could help the Blue Jackets make a push for the Stanley Cup, Bjorkstrand has proved to be the Blue Jackets best trade deadline addition. He brought a necessary spark to the offense. These are all reasons why Bjorkstrand is the best trade deadline addition the Blue Jackets made.