My number three top prospect for the Anaheim Ducks was center Peter Holland. Now, my number two Anaheim Ducks prospect is winger Emerson Etem. The young California native made his NHL debut this past Tuesday night in San Jose. Before being called up earlier this week, Etem was struggling a bit with the Norfolk Admirals in the AHL, his first full year playing pro hockey. However, maybe a bigger talent level will be able to help Etem break out.
Emerson is 20-years-old. He is from nearby Long Beach, California. He was born on June 16, 1992. The Ducks drafted him in the 1st round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, 29th overall. He is a left-handed shot and is listed at 6’1″-210 lbs.
This is a guy who averaged well over a point-per-game in the Western Hockey League for the Medicine Hat Tigers. Etem is a pure scorer. His release is extremely quick and he can be deadly accurate. In fact, in his last season with the Tigers, he averaged nearly a goal-per-game, with 61 goals in 65 games. It is pretty obvious that the WHL and CHL are glad they won’t have to face him anymore. He has also been known to blow by defenders with ease. His skating stride is a bit awkward, but it is certainly effective. He’s got a great burst of acceleration to help. However, along with all of this, he has also been an effective penalty killer. This has been hidden in the dark a little bit because of his scoring, but his speed has made him a threat for a shorthanded goal every time he’s killing a penalty.
Like a lot of other young prospects, Etem needs to bulk up. It seems I say this for a lot of the Ducks prospects, but it’s true. Many young players need to get physically bigger to handle the tougher, bigger play at the NHL level. He’s never been that physical of a player, but once again, he will need to do more of the tough stuff in order to fully fulfill his NHL potential. Another critique of Etem’s play has been his play without the puck. Yeah, he has a knack for being in the right place at the right time in the offensive zone like other scorers, but sometimes thats not enough. Positioning all over the ice should be an area for improvement for Etem.
Now that Etem has reached the NHL level, he may only go back down to the AHL for small increments with his potential level. Along with Peter Holland at center, Etem could develop into one of the best pure scorers the Ducks have ever had. Die hard Ducks fans know plenty of Emerson and are extremely excited for him to show what he’s got. There isn’t much more that needs to be said about him. He has been a high profile prospect in the Ducks system ever since he was drafted.
My #1 prospect update will be posted next week. Everyone knows who will be number one.