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

Thursday, 05.16.2013 / 2:49 PM / 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 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 31 56 28 87
C. Perry 81 43 39 32 82
N. Bonino 77 22 27 14 49
M. Perreault 69 18 25 13 43
A. Cogliano 82 21 21 13 42
C. Fowler 70 6 30 15 36
K. Palmieri 71 14 17 9 31
D. Winnik 76 6 24 6 30
H. Lindholm 78 6 24 29 30
S. Koivu 65 11 18 3 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 20 5 0 .923 2.29
J. Hiller 29 13 7 .911 2.48

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