First up is Emerson Etem.
It was a breakthrough 2012-13 rookie campaign for Long Beach, Calif. native Emerson Etem, who was drafted 29th overall by the Ducks in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Appearing in his first season, Etem made his NHL debut at 20 years, 7 months and 13 days on Jan. 29 at San Jose, becoming the 13th born-and-trained Southern California player to appear in an NHL contest (ninth player since 2005-06).
ETEM VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
In just his third career NHL game, Etem scored his first two points (both assists) on Feb. 2 vs. LA at Honda Center. Etem would go on to score his first career goal as part of a multi-point effort on Mar. 18 vs. San Jose, and earn his first career fighting major, Apr. 5 vs. Dallas.
Etem found himself playing on all four lines during his 38-game regular season stint, a testament to his versatility. He finished the regular season with 10 points (3g/7a) and a +7 rating. Etem also found himself on the penalty kill, forming a deadly duo with Andrew Cogliano, another one of Anaheim’s speedy forwards. Together, they wreaked havoc on opposing power-play units, combining speed and a tenacious forecheck to successfully kill off penalties while also creating chances of their own.
Etem shined in his first postseason appearance, finishing third on the Ducks in overall scoring, with three goals and five points in Anaheim’s seven-game series against the Detroit Red Wings. He shared the team lead in goals along with Ryan Getzlaf, Kyle Palmieri and Nick Bonino, and ranked tied for second in plus/minus (+4, with Ben Lovejoy).
Whether it was his first career NHL goal or his game-tying wrister in Game 7 against Detroit, Etem’s knack for scoring and his inspiring play earned him the Ducks Fan Award for Emerging Star, as voted on by the fans this offseason.
By the Numbers
29, his draft selection, making him the highest drafted Southern California born-and-trained player in Ducks history and the third-highest in NHL history.
After ending the season strong, Etem figures to increase his minutes and point total during his upcoming sophomore campaign. And despite only being 21 years of age, Etem is blessed with a man’s physique, thanks to his dedicated offseason workout regime with longtime trainer T.R. Goodman in Venice Beach. But will Etem be able to withstand the rigors of an 82-game season? Time will tell.
Hails from Long Beach and enjoys surfing and playing the guitar in his spare time. Says Nick’s Deli (in Seal Beach) has “the best breakfast burrito you can find anywhere,” and lists Sublime as his favorite band. He started off playing roller hockey at the age of three before switching to ice hockey three years later. Played his minor hockey at the Los Angeles Hockey Club, and went on to attend Shattuck-St. Mary’s Prep School in Faribault, Minn.
He Said It
“If you’re getting seven or eight minutes a game, you don’t have too many opportunities, especially as far as offense is concerned. You maybe get one or two shots in there. But you feel the flow of the game a lot more when you’re playing and put in different situations. The more I was playing, the more confidence I got. It was great to have the coaches put their trust in my game.” – Etem, on playing with confidence.
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