Columbus’ Bjorkstrand named WHL Player of the Year
It’s been quite the year for Oliver Bjorkstrand.
Bjorkstrand, Columbus’ third-round pick (89th overall) at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, capped off a banner 2014-15 campaign by winning the WHL’s Player of the Year award, becoming just the second European player to ever capture the trophy.
(Past WHL POY winners include Sam Reinhart, Jordan Eberle, Karl Alzner, Dan Hamhuis and Jarome Iginla.)
The 20-year-old Dane scored a whopping 63 goals and 118 points in just 59 games this season. He also set some league history by scoring 50 goals in 50 games, becoming the first WHL player to accomplish the feat since Anaheim forward Emerson Etem did it for Medicine Hat in 2011-12.
Bjorkstrand participated with Columbus in training camp and the preseason before being returned to Portland, and also logged time with the Danish team at the 2015 World Juniors. There, he led the Danes to their first-ever win in tourney history, scoring five points in five games.
He’s currently participating with Denmark’s national team at the World Hockey Championships in the Czech Republic, and will (presumably) get a good look at cracking the Blue Jackets roster this fall.