The Columbus Blue Jackets didn’t have any good news to give fans today on the status of Emil Bemstrom. The young forward will be out six to eight weeks with a dislocated rib and broken cartilage. Bemstrom was injured on a play against the Florida Panthers over the weekend in which Brian Boyle cross-checked him in the ribs.
The 20-year old forward has made quite the impression on the Blue Jackets organization so far, even if his overall production hasn’t been outstanding. Recording nine points in 28 games so far, the fourth-round pick is at least showing that he can handle himself at the NHL level—a feat in itself given his age. When the Blue Jackets picked Bemstrom in 2017 he was a tiny player that had just nevertheless had an excellent season in the Swedish junior ranks, but it was hard to forecast much of an NHL career. After two more years of development and an SHL Rookie of the Year award—while leading the league in goals—it was obvious that many had overlooked his upside.
Now a regular in the NHL, there are high hopes that Bemstrom can not only be a fixture in the lineup but a real key building block for GM Jarmo Kekalainen to use moving forward. Missing so much time due to injury is obviously not ideal, but at least it is happening in a season where the team doesn’t look like they will compete for the Stanley Cup anyway.