Fargo Force director of player personnel Jesse Davis said defenseman Victor Bjorkung (Maine) will play with the team next season.
Bjorkung, 19, was a late-round selection last month in the USHL Entry Draft.
“We just offered him last week and he’s coming for sure,” Davis said. “He had to work on getting his visa and stuff like that. He got everything in place and booked his plane tickets and he’s coming to play in our league. The rumors that he was looking at other options are pretty much all done.”
Bjorkung has spent three of his last four seasons playing with the Djurgarden program in his native Sweden. He also spent a season with Malmo. He played 42 games last season scoring 17 points (4 goals, 13 assists) for the U-20 team. In the 2010-11 season, he split time between Djugarden’s U-18 Elite Team, the program’s U-18 Allsvenskan and one game in the Super Elite league.
Between the three leagues, he scored 27 points in 38 games. Altogether, he played in 120 games scoring 77 points during his time in Sweden.
Davis previously said leading up to the draft the team hadn’t heard about Bjorkung but kept hearing his name come up from various parties.
Those same parties told Davis that Bjorkung had accepted a scholarship to play at Maine but was also weighing options to play professionally back in Sweden. It is why the Force took him in the later rounds and it’s what Davis called taking a pick on a player whose still sorting over their future.
“He’s all set to come over and we spoke with his father,” Davis said. “Now they’re just trying to figure out what to bring over. I just told them to pack some warm clothes.”
Bjorkung has been described as a, “high-end, skilled defenseman” at the time the Force took him in the draft. The plan would be for Bjorkung to play on the power play, which was one of the best in the entire USHL last season.
Getting the 6-foot, 174-pound Bjorkung could also help make up for the losses the Force’s blueline have suffered this off-season. The Force were already losing Willie Corrin (Minnesota-Duluth) and potential second-round selection Brian Cooper (Nebraska-Omaha) to college for next season.
Shortly after training camp, the team lost Taylor Richart who accepted a scholarship from Miami (Ohio), where he will be playing next season.
It leaves the Force with at least four defensemen expected to return from last year’s team in Justin Wade (Notre Dame), Dominic Racobaldo, Neal Goff and Taylor Fleming. Defenseman David Mead’s future is still up in the air with the team which could leave another opening on the blueline.
The returning four defenseman plus Bjorkung and tender signee Butrus Ghafari (Western Michigan) give the Force at least six justified defensemen before heading into their pre-season camp which will begin in August.