COLUMBUS, OH—Swedish hockey player Alexander Wennberg, 22, has committed to the Blue Jackets another six years, it was announced on Friday, September 1. The Stockholm, Sweden-born forward became a free agent at the end of this past season.
Columbus selected him 14th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft and he began his career with the organization in 2014. His new deal is worth $29.4 million, has an average annual value (AAV) of $4.9 million, and runs through 2022-2023.
Last season, Wennberg hit 59 points, 13 goals, 46 assists, 109 shots on goal, 23 power play points, five game-winning goals, along with an 11.9 save percentage and plus-9 rating in 80 games; all of these numbers were career-peaks for the 6 foot and 2 inch tall, 196 pound center. He added one assist in five playoff games. Wennberg exceeded his Columbus teammates in assists and was a runner-up to right winger Cam Atkinson in points.
During his rookie season with Columbus (2014-2015) Wennberg also played in three games with the Springfield Falcons of the AHL. He made 68 appearances with Columbus that year, exceeding all team rookies that year in games played. He had the highest number of assists that year amongst Columbus rookies. The following season (2015-2016), he also exceeded the team in assists with 32 and ranked sixth in points with 40, which also consisted of eight goals. His career totals include 119 points (25 goals and 94 assists), a minus-11 rating, and 45 penalty minutes in 217 games.
Before making his North American debut three seasons ago, Wennberg played for the Frölunda HC and, previously, the Djurgårdens IF, both of the Swedish Hockey League.
“We are excited to have signed Alexander to a long-term contract through the 2022-2023 season. He has shown steady improvement throughout his young NHL career and is coming off a very good 2016-2017 campaign. At just 22-years-old, he has tremendous opportunity to become an integral player for our organization for years to come,” Jarmo Kekalainen, Columbus’ General Manager, said in a statement.
Fellow Stockholm native and former Blue Jackets teammate William Karlsson (who will play for the Vegas Golden Knights this coming season) tweeted his congratulations to Wennberg.