It really says something about how the Columbus Blue Jackets season is going, that two of their regular defensemen are being sent to the minor leagues over the All-Star break. Tim Berni and Marcus Bjork have both been assigned to the Cleveland Monsters for the time being.
The Blue Jackets roster has been ravaged by injuries this season, forcing players into unexpected roles. That’s true for the 22-year-old Berni, who has played 28 games for the Blue Jackets so far.
The sixth-round pick from 2018 has only one full season of North American professional hockey under his belt, and at times he has looked completely overmatched in the NHL. Still, the Swiss-born defender has improved throughout his time with the Blue Jackets, and even logged more than 21 minutes last night in an overtime loss to the Washington Capitals.
Bjork, meanwhile, has less experience on North American ice but quite a bit at the professional level in Sweden. The 25-year-old has 11 points in 27 games for the Blue Jackets this season, incredibly leading all Columbus defenders in scoring.
Both players will likely play roles on the club down the stretch, especially if Columbus ends up trading Vladislav Gavrikov or others. The Blue Jackets are back in action on February 10.