By R.G. Mason
JUNE 30, 2023
Club has also extended a qualifying offer to restricted free agent defenseman Tim Berni
COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed defenseman Marcus Bjork to a one-year, two-way National Hockey League/American Hockey League contract extension for the 2023-24 season, club general manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. In addition, the team has extended a qualifying offer to restricted free agent defenseman Tim Berni.
Bjork, 25, registered three goals and eight assists for 11 points with 42 penalty minutes, 45 hits and 34 shots on goal, while averaging 18:09 TOI in 33 appearances with the Blue Jackets in his first NHL campaign in 2022-23. He notched a goal in his first NHL game on November 12 at the New York Islanders and collected his first career assists one game later on November 15 vs. Philadelphia. He added 7-8-15 with 18 penalty minutes and 59 shots on goal in 44 contests with the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters in 2022-23.
The 6-4, 211-pound native of Umea, Sweden totaled 17-47-64 and 98 PIM in 204 career games with Malmo, Orebro and Brynas IF in the Swedish Hockey League from 2018-22. Prior to joining the SHL, he was named the HockeyAllsvenskan Defenseman of the Year in 2017-18 after leading all defensemen in the second-highest league in the Swedish hockey system in goals and points with 13-21-34 and 22 penalty minutes in 52 games with IK Oskarshamn.
Berni, 23, was selected by the Blue Jackets in the sixth round, 159th overall, at the 2018 NHL Draft. He collected one goal and two assists with 34 penatly minutes, while averaging 16:58 of ice time in 59 career games with Columbus in his first NHL campaign in 2022-23. He made his League debut on December 6 at Pittsburgh and posted his first career goal on January 10 at Tampa Bay.
A native of Mannedorf, Switzerland, Berni has collected 4-15-19 with 56 penalty minutes and 93 shots on goal in 89 career AHL games with the Monsters since making his North American pro debut in 2021-22. The 6-0, 192-pound blueliner recorded 1-3-4, 12 penalty minutes and 16 shots on goal in 17 contests with Cleveland in 2022-23.
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