The Columbus Blue Jackets have now finished off all of their key restricted free agent signings now, with the signing of forward Oliver Bjorkstrand on Sunday. The team and player came together on a new 3-year, $7.5 million deal, already rounding out the projected roster for the upcoming season.
The 23-year old Dane finally managed to put together his first full season with the Jackets, playing in all 82 games, scoring 11 goals and 40 points in the process. Once he got the ice-time with the big club, he was certainly a hockey pool worthy player, ranking 150th among all forwards in scoring.
You would have to imagine that his role with the club is only going to increase in the coming seasons, especially with the uncertainty of Artemi Panarin's long-term role with the team, something that Bjorkstrand could really make good use out of, if the time came.
|Artemi Panarin||6.000||Seth Jones||5.400||Sergei Bobrovsky||7.425|
|Brandon Dubinsky||5.850||David Savard||4.250||Joonas Korpisalo||0.900|
|Cam Atkinson||5.750||Ryan Murray||2.825|
|Nick Foligno||5.500||Markus Nutivaara||2.700|
|Alexander Wennberg||4.900||Zach Werenski||0.925|
|Boone Jenner||3.750||Gabriel Carlsson||0.894|
|Riley Nash||2.750||Scott Harrington||0.675|
Right now, the Jackets look like they could be a very hard team to play against, since they have a fair bit of grit on their roster, not to mention some natural scoring ability. The early thoughts are fairly positive for this club, assuming that this is the lineup that opens the season.
Cap-wise, this team is very healthy heading into the dog days of the summer, with no key restricted free agents left to sign and still $6 million in cap space for the summer. If they were feeling saucy enough, they could be in the mix for another unrestricted free agent, just to add a little bit more depth to their roster.