Three Forwards the Columbus Blue Jackets Could Look to Trade Before the Deadline

Even though they have just one UFA, the Jackets have some pieces up front that could be intriguing to teams searching for depth at this year's trade deadline.

New Jersey Devils v Columbus Blue Jackets
New Jersey Devils v Columbus Blue Jackets / Jason Mowry/GettyImages
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I'm hard pressed to find any Blue Jackets player over the last half decade that brings up more contention amongst the fanbase than Emil Bemstrom.

The expectations were very high for Emil after he was drafted. This was mainly because he obliterated the SHL, leading Sweden's top league in goals (23) as a 19 year old.

He came over as a top prospect for a team whose prospect pool was mostly empty, because the team was selling off future assets to compete for a Stanley Cup. Unfortunately, he hasn't quite put it all together and become a high end goal scorer to this point.

But, I'm always quick to point out that even though he hasn't become the 20-30 goal guy that everyone hoped he would be - he's still a pretty serviceable winger. And, with a fresh start, who knows what could happen?

Emil Bemstrom
Washington Capitals v Columbus Blue Jackets / Kirk Irwin/GettyImages

Still, he's scoring at a roughly 30-point pace this season, while being a reliable two-way player. In my opinion, he's a pretty decent bottom-six forward, and his cap hit is just $900k.

Unfair expectations aside, Emil Bemstrom was a successful 4th round pick. It's hard to debate that.

Now, for his trade value, I don't think there's a lot there. Maybe a 6th or 7th round pick. But, any contending team who wants to add a cheap two-way winger who could turn into a reliable goal scorer at some point, could be looking at Bemstrom on the cheap.

Whatever the case, the correct outcome for both Bemstrom and the Jackets here, is a change of scenery. He's already passed up by younger, more skilled options for the team, but he's an NHL player, and he deserves a shot somewhere else.