#NHLBruins have agreed to terms with Anders Bjork on a three-year contract extension
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) July 29, 2020
The Bruins announced today that they have signed RFA winger Anders Bjork to a three-year contract extension worth $1.6 million a year. Bjork, 23, appeared in 58 games for the Bruins this season, and put up nine goals and ten assists for a total of 19 points. His most common linemates this season were Charlie Coyle and Danton Heinen (before he was traded to the Anaheim Ducks at the deadline), and together they formed a formidable third line. This contract is an outstanding deal for the Bruins, and good for Bjork too. Here’s why.
Injuries Have Slowed Bjork’s Development
In his first two professional seasons, Bjork was plagued by major shoulder injuries. This set his development back a bit because he was out for months at a time. To put in in perspective, he played just 50 games between his first two seasons, over which he totaled five goals and ten assists. So, we didn’t get to see what he could really do at the NHL level until this season.
Because of this, taking a bridge contract was the best-case scenario for Bjork. This way, if he stays healthy and continues to improve, he will get a much bigger deal after this one expires. He didn’t have even close to enough of a resume at this point to demand a lucrative long-term contract. So, he would’ve been stupid to take anything other than a bridge deal. $1.6 million a year is a fair number for him and the team right now. Three years is a good length too. He should have plenty on his resume to get a bigger, longer-term deal at the end of it.
This Contract Could Be A Complete Steal Soon
This is already an outstanding deal for the Bruins and great for Bjork too. But, if all goes well, this could end up looking like an absolute steal for the Bruins. Bjork is looking primed to break out in these playoffs. If he does and keeps it up into next season, this deal will already look like a steal. He has all the tools to be a great player in the league. Now that he’s had an extended time where he’s in the NHL and healthy, it’s only a matter of time before he puts it all together.
All in all, I’m extremely excited about this contract. Sweeney was very smart to it done now. For starters, it’s one less for him to do once the playoffs are done. Also, it probably saved him money. If Bjork breaks out in these playoffs, and it looks like he might, he easily could’ve demanded more money. That wouldn’t have been good for the Bruins. They need to save every dollar they can if they want to re-sign Krug this offseason. As it stands now, this contract will let them do it (see my breakdown here of how I think things can work).
Sweeney did a great job here. Now let’s just hope he can do it with the rest of the Bruins’ RFAs and UFAs. I have faith he will. With the exception of a few duds over the years, he’s been excellent at negotiating contracts.
-Lydia Murray (@lydia_murray12)
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