The Columbus Blue Jackets have announced that forward Emil Bemstrom will miss six to eight weeks due to injury. The 20-year-old suffered a dislocated rib and some cartilage damage in a game earlier this month against the Florida Panthers. The team announced the injury earlier Wednesday afternoon.
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) December 11, 2019
Emil Bemstrom Out with Injury
Bemstrom was having an okay season through early December. The former fourth-round pick has three goals and nine points through his first 28 games as a rookie. He wasn’t setting the world on fire but he was still a productive member of the Jackets. His advanced numbers indicate he was doing a solid job with the puck despite a bottom-six role and only an average of 10:47 of ice time per evening.
This injury certainly derails Bemstrom’s development as a top-six option. Bemstrom was one of the top players at his level in Sweden but hasn’t had success in North America so far. Columbus also has an experienced group of forwards including Cam Atkinson and Gustav Nyquist so there wasn’t as much room for Bemstrom this season.
That certainly could change as the Blue Jackets begin what could be a slow rebuild engaging its youthful core in a big way. Bemstrom was just one piece of that effort. The Jackets also have Alexandre Texier and Pierre-Luc Dubois as players 21-years-old or younger with big expectations from the front office.
What This Means for the Future
The team was already missing several pieces including defenceman Zach Werenski. The injuries have hampered a season where Columbus often struggled to score goals. The Blue Jackets are currently second-to-last in the Metropolitan Division. They also have the fifth-best odds of the top pick in the 2020 Draft if the season ended Wednesday night.