The Washington Capitals announced Friday afternoon the signing of goaltender Garin Bjorklund to a three-year, $843,000 per season entry-level deal. The Capitals selected Bjorklund, 19, in the sixth round with the 179th overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.
Bjorklund signed an amateur tryout agreement (ATO) with the Hershey Bears immediately following the conclusion of his WHL season with the Medicine Hat Tigers on April 20. He was released from his ATO with the Bears earlier this week.
Bjorklund is the second goaltender signed by the Capitals this spring. The Capitals announced on March 28 the signing of college free agent Clay Stevenson to a three-year entry level contract. He joined Hershey on an ATO on April 7 and remains with the team.
FROM THE WASHINGTON CAPITALS
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have signed goaltender Garin Bjorklund to a three-year entry level contract, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. Bjorklund’s contract will carry an average annual value of $843,333.
The Capitals selected Bjorklund, 19, in the sixth round with the 179th overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. The 6’2″, 178-pound goaltender finished this season with the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League (WHL) with an 8-36-2 record, one shutout, a 4.26 goals-against average and a .877 save percentage. The Grande Prairie, Alta., native signed an amateur tryout agreement with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL) on April 20.
Bjorklund was ranked fifth among North American goaltenders by NHL Central Scouting prior to the 2020 NHL Draft. Bjorklund posted a 20-5-1 record, a 2.91 goals against average and a .897 save percentage in 28 games with Medicine Hat in the 2019-20 season. His 20 wins ranked third among rookie goaltenders in 2019-20.
In 96 career games in the WHL with Medicine Hat, Bjorklund is 40-48-4 with three shutouts, a 3.50 goals-against average and a .892 save percentage.
Bjorklund won an Alberta Midget AAA Championship with the Calgary Buffalos in 2018-19 where he registered a 1.76 goals against average and a .934 save percentage in 11 games.
FROM OUR MARCH PROSPECT REPORT
Bjorklund finished the month of March on the upswing, giving up just two goals on 29 shots (.931%) on March 19 against Swift Current, and he gave up just two goals on 39 shots (.949%) against Calgary on March 26.
It’s been somewhat difficult to gauge his overall development and game this season, and where he might go from here. He’s played four seasons in the WHL, all by the age of 19, but the developmental value of the CHL/Medicine Hat has likely reached its limit. More here.
More information and related articles on Bjorklund can be found on our “Prospects Page”.