The Lake Erie Monsters captured the AHL’s Calder Cup on Saturday, and it was a pair of highly touted Columbus Blue Jackets prospects that combined for the overtime winning goal.
Oliver Bjorkstrand, taken in the third round of the 2013 draft, scored the winner on a scramble with only two seconds remaining in the first overtime. Zach Werenski, the Blue Jackets’ prized eighth overall pick last year, had the second assist.
Both cap the AHL post-season in style, and they did so with the Blue Jackets brass in attendance for the clincher.
Bjorkstrand was named the most valuable player when it was over, after scoring 10 goals and 16 points in the post-season. Werenski, who is still only 18 years old and only made the jump to the AHL on an ATO in March, played at nearly a point-per-game pace in the playoffs, with 14 points in 17 games.
“He’s doing a little bit of everything,” Monsters head coach Jared Bednar said of Werenski in May. “The skill set he has: his size, strength and poise with the puck, he’s a complete player. To be able to step into our lineup in intense games and get the job done, it’s impressive especially for his age and that’s why everyone’s so excited about him.
“He’s a young guy. He’s going to grow a lot, but right now, to be able to do what he’s doing at this level at this time of year is pretty impressive.”