The Columbus Blue Jackets have announced that they have placed forward Oliver Bjorkstrand on injured reserve. In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Gerbe from their AHL affiliate Cleveland Monsters on an emergency basis.
Oliver Bjorkstrand Out for the Blue Jackets
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) December 22, 2019
Bjorkstrand originally sustained the injury in Saturday’s 5-1 win over the New Jersey Devils. Bjorkstrand took a cross-check from Devils defenceman Damon Severson late in the game. He suffered a rib/cartilage contusion and an oblique strain as a result. Bjorkstrand is expected to be out for the next four to six weeks.
In 36 games this season, Bjorkstrand has scored 12 goals and 11 assists for 23 points.
Over his career with the Blue Jackets, Bjorkstrand has scored 56 goals and 64 assists for 120 points in 233 games.
Bjorkstrand was originally drafted by the Blue Jackets in the third round, 89th overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Tough Break for Bjorkstrand and the Blue Jackets
The loss of the Bjorkstrand comes as a huge loss to the Blue Jackets. Bjorkstrand is currently tied for the team lead in goals and is third in points behind Pierre-Luc Dubois and Gustav Nyquist. He really picked up the pace from the beginning of November on as 21 of his 23 points have come since then. He currently leads the team in points in that span. The Blue Jackets will need someone to step up in his absence.
That person could very well be Nathan Gerbe. Gerbe has been on fire in the AHL leading his team in all points categories. Gerbe has scored eight goals and added 17 assists for 25 points in 30 games for the Monsters. This offensive production will be needed for a depleted Blue Jackets roster. The Jackets just can’t seem to shake the injury bug as they already without Josh Anderson, Emil Bemstrom and defenceman Ryan Murray among others.
The Blue Jackets’ next game will be on Monday against the New York Islanders.
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