Oliver Bjorkstrand might be the toughest Columbus Blue Jackets player to evaluate this year. Bjork, in my eyes, has been improperly used and quite frankly, unjustly scratched twice in the last two weeks.
No one is going to sit here and tell you that Bjorkstrand is an elite defensive player but he hasn’t been significantly worse than many other Jackets players who haven’t been scratched by Torts. He wasn’t scratched after the Rangers loss where he was -3, but was after the Carolina win where he filled in for Nick Foligno and played just fine.
I would like to see Bjork check more consistently too, but he also provides a scoring punch that the Jackets could use down the lineup. The third and fourth lines are having huge issues right now and Bjorkstrand deserves a spot back in the lineup.
Although he only has four points, Bjork has only played 11 minutes per game in his 19 games played. That isn’t enough to get Bjorkstrand rolling offensively. Also his center for most of this time has been Alexander Wennberg who hasn’t played great either. I think part of Bjorks’ lack of success can be tied to Wennberg’s struggles.
All that said, Bjorkstrand isn’t having great season on his own either. I think he has the talent to be a key player on this team but he hasn’t shown it yet. Still three fourths of the year left though.