After a good season in the KHL with Medvescak Zagreb, Danish forward Patrick Bjorkstrand has inked a deal with the Los Angeles Kings. The 24-year-old forward was signed to an ELC that will allow him to play both in the NHL and in the AHL for the Ontario Reign. Bjorkstrand skated with the Kings at their recent development camp.
— General Fanager (@generalfanager) July 13, 2016
The native of Herning, Denmark, spent the last three seasons in the KHL with Medvescak, with a short stint in the Finnish Liiga in 2014-15 as a playoff rental. He also played in Sweden and in Denmark. Internationally, Bjorkstrand represented Denmark at the latest four IIHF World Championship, scoring a total of six points in 29 players, and at the 2012 WJC in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta. He also skated with Team Denmark at the Olympic Qualification Tournament before the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Bjorkstrand comes from a true hockey family. His father Todd played in several North American leagues before settling down in Denmark, where he spent most of his playing career in Herning. He started his coaching career in Herning, coaching for two stints before spending two seasons in Austria. Patrick’s brother Oliver is a Columbus Blue Jackets prospect who spent the latest season with the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL, where he won the Calder Cup.
Bjorkstrand’s contract will have a cap hit of $667,500 and is a two-way deal. It is expected that he will start the season in Ontario, as while he had a positive season in the KHL in Zagreb, he is still a long shot in making the NHL. The Kings went for a low-risk option with Bjorkstrand, and he may provide some depth in the long run.