The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed right wing Emil Bemstrom to a three-year entry level contract, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. Bemstrom was selected by the Blue Jackets in the fourth round, 117th overall, at the 2017 NHL Draft.
Bemstrom, 19, recorded 23 goals and 12 assists for 35 points with eight penalty minutes, 10 power play goals and a +10 plus/minus rating, while averaging 13:46 of ice time in 47 games with Djurgardens IF in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) in 2018-19. He led the league in goals and power play goals and captured the SHL's Rookie of the Year and Swedish Junior Hockey Player of the Year awards after leading all rookies in goals, points and power play goals. His 23 goals were tied with Tomas Sandstrom (1982-83), Peter Forsberg (1992-93) and Patric Hornqvist (2006-07) for the third-most by a teenager in a season in league history, trailing only Kent Nilsson (28, 1975-76) and Elias Pettersson (24, 2017-18). He added 5-5-10 in 19 playoff games to help the club advance to the SHL final.
The Nykoping, Sweden native has notched 23-12-35, eight penalty minutes and a +9 plus/minus rating in 52 career SHL appearances with Djurgardens IF and Leksands IF, including a five-game stint with Leksands in 2016-17. He spent the 2017-18 campaign with the Leksands organization, collecting 8-7-15 in 33 games with the men's club (Allsvenskan) and 12-13-25 in 18 outings with the junior team (SuperElit).
The 5-10, 181-pound winger has represented Sweden at several international competitions. He was named a top three player for his country at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championships after collecting 4-2-6 in five appearances.