I’ll have a more substantive post in the morning, but the Kings have confirmed that they’ve come to terms with forward Patrick Bjorkstrand on a one-year, entry-level contract. This was first reported by General Fanager, who noted that Bjorkstrand’s cap hit is $667,500.
— General Fanager (@generalfanager) July 13, 2016
I spoke with hockey operations about what they saw from Bjorkstrand at development camp – the team has not announced the signing, and again, full detail will be provided early Thursday – and the sense I got was that they like his mix of speed, character and grit, and are intrigued by the possibility of how his game will translate in North America. This was described more or less as the equivalency of signing an NCAA free agent, and given that it’s a one-year contract, there’s not a great deal of risk associated with the transaction.
Bjorkstrand has never played for a club team on this side of the Atlantic, so there will be an acclimation process that will begin at training camp and is almost certain to continue in Ontario at the start of the season. Bjorkstrand, who turned 24 earlier this month, is six feet tall and weighs 192 pounds. He played the last three seasons with KHL-Zagreb and finished with 13 goals and 22 points in 2015-16. The Herning native has represented Denmark in the last four springs, totaling two goals and six points in 29 games, though Denmark hasn’t been a high-scoring team at that tournament.
Bjorkstrand played with Anze and Gasper Kopitar and Bobby Ryan with Mora IK of Sweden’s HockeyAllsvenskan in 2012-13. His father, Todd, played with Kings Vice President of Hockey Operations and Director of Player Personnel Michael Futa for Herning in Denmark and tenured Los Angeles pro scout Rob Laird with IHL-Fort Wayne in the mid-1980’s, while his brother, Oliver, is a top Columbus prospect who accentuated his NHL debut last season by scoring four goals and notching eight points in 12 games with the big club before winning a Calder Cup with Lake Erie.
More to come tomorrow…