The Washington Capitals brought goaltender Garin Bjorklund to Hershey in late April for workouts with the Bears and a closer look by Capitals management. Bjorklund, selected by the Capitals in the 6th round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, had just finished his season with a Medicine Hat team that struggled, mightily. The change in scenery was just what Bjorklund needed.
A few days later Bjorklund signed a three-year entry-level deal with the Capitals, thus bringing a life-long dream to fruition.
Bjorklund said his phone was “blowing up” after his deal with the Capitals was announced on April 29. He said he had to re-charge it before talking with Capitals’ general manager, Brian MacLellan.
“I feel so blessed and humbled to be where I am,” Bjorklund told the Medicine Hat News on signing day. “I’ve dreamt about this moment so many times and having the disappointment waking up and knowing that it was just a dream. So this morning, it was a good feeling knowing I officially do have an NHL contract, and it’s a huge accomplishment in my life and I’m excited to see what my pro career has in store for me.”
The Grand Prairie native said the experience in Hershey was great because he was able to learn from the pros, and it allowed him the chance to impress Capitals management in his exit interview.
“All the players and coaching staff welcomed us with open arms, and it was just great to pick players’ brains a little bit and bring it back to my summer training for next season,” Bjorklund said. “When I was down there at Hershey, I think I showcased myself well, I had a good exit meeting and as soon as I landed in Calgary my agent phoned me and said that they had an NHL contract brewed up for me.”
Bjorklund said when he left Hershey it was hinted he would be playing professional hockey next year and that’s what he is focused on. According to the Medicine Hat News, the 20-year-old will spend his summer in Grand Prairie while travelling back and forth to Calgary to train with Crash Conditioning.
“I’m excited to bring back the knowledge that I was fortunate to gain with my time at Hershey to get back to my summer training and hopefully be playing professional hockey next season,” said Bjorklund.
“I’m looking forward to getting the opportunity to make my stamp as a professional hockey player and to see what’s in store for me in the future.”
Bjorklund will likely participate in the Capitals prospect development camp this summer and Capitals training camp activities leading up to the start of the 2021-22 season. From there he will likely begin next season in South Carolina or in Hershey.
By Jon Sorensen
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