Jeff Gross - Getty Images
Emerson Etem, straight outta the LBC, could be the Ducks most anticipated prospect since Bobby Ryan. After a 61 goal year in the CHL, plus two goals in the playoffs for Syracuse (AHL), wouldn't you be excited too?
Name: Emerson Etem (ee-tem)
Hometown: Long Beach, California
Drafted: 29th overall pick in the 2010 entry draft
How did he become a Duck?: Signed his ELC in May of 2011.
Where did the Ducks send him for the lockout?: Norfolk, to be an Admiral
2011-2012 Team: Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League, and a very brief stint with the Syracuse Crunch
Other Hockey Ventures: Etem played for Shattuck St. Mary's, a high school in Minnesota known for producing great players such as Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, and Zach Parise. The team won the national championship that year. He also played for two U.S. World Junior teams.
Key Stats from last season: Scored 107 points in 65 games for the Tigers, including 61 goals. He also had 7+6=13 in the teams 7 playoff games. Led the CHL in shorthanded goals with 10. Had one goal and was a +1 in 2 regular season games with the Crunch; scored 2 goals and was a -1 in the Crunch's 4 playoff games.
Scout's take: Hockey's future has him ranked as the 12th in their top 50 rankings that they do twice a year. From that ranking, "One of the best skaters outside of the NHL, Etem not only uses his speed to score, but also uses it to aggressively forecheck and pressure the opposition into making mistakes."
From The Scouting Report, before the 2010 draft, "Etem displays an impressive skillset, but what might be most impressive is his ability to fade away from the play and seem almost invisible – only to appear and strike when you least expect him to. He has an NHL caliber wrist shot that almost always hits it’s mark, as characterized by his high goal total."
Other scouting reports might report that Etem has an awkward looking stride. However, it doesn't seem to be affecting his acceleration or overall speed. He also spent last season playing in all three situations and was very successful.
Is he a Work-in-Progress, Trade Bait, or a Keeper: Trade bait...I almost typed that with a straight face. Etem is a keeper. He's not going anywhere. He's a local kid who has all the tools for success. Unless the Ducks get offered Teemu Selanne from 1997, this kid isn't going anywhere.
Should we be excited?: On a scale of 1-5, I think I'm a 12. I'm not saying he'll be as good as Teemu, but when I've been able to watch him at camps, a lot of his game reminds me of how Teemu plays. Combine that with his pure desire to succeed and you have all the makings of a great NHL player. He's probably the only player the Ducks have in the system right now who has the potential to be a full flown star. Devo-Bonino-Etem. That could be one of the most dangerous third lines in the league. If we have hockey this season...