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Q&A: Emerson Etem on This Past Season and What's Ahead

Thursday, 05.16.2013 / 11:49 AM PT / News
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Q&A: Emerson Etem on This Past Season and What\'s Ahead
"I was pretty happy with the way my season progressed. It started out a little bit slow, but I worked on it, from getting sent down and coming back up. I finished pretty strong, especially in the playoffs, and I thought I played pretty solid. I’ll just take that into next year"
By Adam Brady
AnaheimDucks.com


It’s tough to find a silver lining in a promising Ducks season that ended with a disappointing seven-game loss to Detroit in the first round, but the play of Emerson Etem in that series would certainly qualify.

The 20-year-old rookie appeared to get better as the season progressed, and that was never more on display than in the Detroit series in which he scored three goals in seven games and had a plus-4 rating. In fact, Ducks fans were asked to vote for Anaheim’s top postseason player in a poll on the team’s website, and Etem won with 40 percent of the vote.

Emerson Etem Highlights

After being sent down to Norfolk of the AHL in the middle of this season, and being recalled in late February, Etem was a mainstay in the Ducks lineup who appeared to get better with each passing day. It was the kind of ability the Ducks have expected from Etem ever since they selected the Long Beach native with the 29th pick of the 2010 NHL draft.

Earlier this week, having just packed his locker and gone through exit interviews with coaches and management, Etem reflected on his rookie season and what’s to come for him.

What are your impressions of the season when you look back on it?

The season didn’t finish how we wanted it to. We obviously wanted to lift that Cup at the end of the two months here. But sometimes you just fall short and you’ve got to regroup in the summer, see what you did wrong individually and as a team, and be better next year. I’m going to look at my game, watch a lot of video. I was pretty happy with the way my season progressed. It started out a little bit slow, but I worked on it, from getting sent down and coming back up. I just continued to work on my shot and a lot of the areas of my game I knew I needed to work on. I finished pretty strong, especially in the playoffs, and I thought I played pretty solid. I’ll just take that into next year.

What did you feel was the most notable thing you improved on as the season progressed?
My confidence. It was not only the coaches' trust in me with my ice time, but I think as it increased, my confidence got that much better.

On his best memory of the playoffs: "I just think playing in front of the fans, just playing at Honda Center and experiencing that for the first time. Every time I stepped on the ice, the fans got me going. It wasn’t even the goals or anything else. It was just the guys in the locker room, as a team going out on that ice and preparing to battle every game. That was the biggest thing"
Confidence almost sounds like a cliché at times, but it really is huge part of the game, isn’t it?
Yeah, it is. 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.

You had a couple of big moments in these playoffs, but what pops into your head as the highlight?
I just think playing in front of the fans, just playing at Honda Center and experiencing that for the first time. Every time I stepped on the ice, the fans got me going. It wasn’t even the goals or anything else. It was just the guys in the locker room, as a team going out on that ice and preparing to battle every game. That was the biggest thing.

The most important thing in your development is your play in all three zones. Did you see that continue to improve this season?
Yeah, for sure. Back in juniors, like a lot of guys on this team, you’re looked at as the No. 1 guy. But I think your role changes when you’re here at this level. I think I’ve carried over the defensive role I had in Medicine Hat. Obviously the offense didn’t come as quickly, but slowly but surely I was able to accomplish some of the stuff I did at that level, and I hope to keep that going.

What was discussed in your season-ending meetings with coaches and management?
Just don’t change anything. What you did in the last series was great, but now it’s time to keep working hard in the summer, don’t stop and make sure you’re prepared for training camp in the summer.

"You work hard to be popular, just through work ethic or by what you bring every night. If you work hard, the chance of the fans loving you is pretty high. I think everyone loves Teemu here and Getzlaf and guys like that because of what they do for us. If I keep working hard, then maybe I’ll be in those names someday."
What’s the biggest thing you learned by being at this level for an extended period of time?
The biggest thing is just to stay humble, keep working hard, learn from the veterans in the room – Sheldon Souray, Getzlaf, Perry, Teemu and all those guys. Both on an off the ice, learn what they’re doing, because it’s obviously working. I just need to make sure I follow their path.

With Teemu Selanne’s future uncertain once again, and considering your popularity with fans already, is there any thought in your mind of someday filling the void his retirement would leave for this franchise?
I would want everyone to return no matter what they’re thinking for their future. But you always want to be the go-to guy. You work hard to be popular, just through work ethic or by what you bring every night. If you work hard, the chance of the fans loving you is pretty high. I think everyone loves Teemu here and Getzlaf and guys like that because of what they do for us. If I keep working hard, then maybe I’ll be in those names someday. But I’m nowhere close to being there yet. I’ve just got to keep working hard.

What are your plans for the next few months?
I’m going to be training again with TR Goodman at Pro Camp Sports up in Venice once again. I’ve been training there since I was 13, so that’s not going to change. I might even get a place up in Venice, so I can be more focused up there. My buddy Beau Bennett plays for the Penguins, so we’ll be skating a lot together this summer and working hard. I’m looking forward to it.


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 58 36 18 4 160 134 76
2 DAL 55 35 15 5 178 147 75
3 STL 57 31 17 9 138 133 71
4 LAK 54 33 18 3 151 128 69
5 COL 58 29 25 4 155 160 62
6 SJS 53 28 20 5 154 143 61
7 ANA 53 26 19 8 120 125 60
8 NSH 55 25 21 9 142 148 59
9 ARI 54 25 23 6 143 164 56
10 MIN 54 23 21 10 133 134 56
11 VAN 54 22 20 12 125 144 56
12 CGY 54 25 26 3 144 160 53
13 WPG 54 24 27 3 139 157 51
14 EDM 56 22 29 5 138 168 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 49 5 35 9 40
C. Perry 53 21 17 -4 38
R. Rakell 50 13 15 -3 28
R. Kesler 53 11 15 -8 26
S. Vatanen 53 6 19 -1 25
C. Stewart 47 8 10 2 18
J. Silfverberg 53 6 12 -2 18
A. Cogliano 53 6 11 -9 17
H. Lindholm 52 6 8 -6 14
C. Fowler 40 3 9 -10 12
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 11 8 6 .920 2.30
J. Gibson 12 8 2 .917 2.13

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