Blue Jackets winger Emil Bemstrom is expected to join HIFK Helsinki of the SM-liiga to start their season, reports SportExpressen’s Johan Svensson. The 21-year-old still has two years remaining on his entry-level deal so Columbus would have to agree to loan him out before anything could be finalized. While he played in the SHL before coming to North America, that league isn’t accepting players on loan so he had to look elsewhere.
Bemstrom played in 56 games in his rookie season, collecting 10 goals and 10 assists; half of his tallies came with the man advantage to tie for the Blue Jackets lead. He also suited up in five postseason contests where he was held off the scoresheet. After averaging more than 12 minutes a game, it’s safe to infer that Bemstrom should have the inside track on a roster spot with Columbus next season but a good start in Finland in more of an offensive role could certainly give him a boost heading into training camp where he’ll be looking for a bigger role.
More from the Metropolitan Division:
- Still with the Blue Jackets, goaltender Elvis Merzlikins told RSI Sport in Switzerland that he is hoping to get permission to train with HC Lugano next month. He is no stranger to Lugano having played there from 2009 through 2019 before coming to Columbus this season. However, unlike before, Merzlikins has no intention of playing while he’s over there as if he is loaned, it would just be to skate with the team to stay in shape for training camp.
- Flyers center Sean Couturier played through an MCL sprain in their final playoff game, relays Jordan Hall of NBC Sports Philadelphia. It’s not the first time that he has had an MCL injury in the past as he played through his final few 2018 postseason contests with an MCL tear. The injury should be fully recovered in time for training camp.