You won’t find the name Emerson Etem anywhere in the Calder Trophy debate. But the first year forward for the Anaheim Ducks is making an impact as this team locks down a top seed in the Western Conference, regardless of what the numbers show.
A rare California native in the NHL, Etem is making an impact with his hometown club. He’s been an important contributor to this Ducks team, which seems destined to grab the no. 2 seed in the Western Conference as we head into the home stretch.
From a point production standpoint, there hasn’t been much to get excited about from the 20-year-old. He has nine points on the season, including three goals and six assists, playing in 34 games. But Etem’s game is about much more than the points.
At some point, we’ll likely see Etem emerge as a goal-scoring threat. His history prior to reaching the NHL gives a pretty strong indication of that. Right now, though, his value comes on the other side of the puck, as he’s a defensive asset at the forward position.
Etem is one of the top penalty killers from this team. Andrew Cogliano, who has found a role for himself as well this season, and Etem have teamed up to give the Ducks a pretty formidable duo when it comes to the PK. His never-stop-moving mentality makes him an asset in killing penalties, and makes him a threat to score shorthanded. Two of his points have come with the Ducks a man down.
We’ll likely have to wait a bit longer to see Etem really start to make an impact with this team in other aspects of the game. But for now, he’s fitting in quite well and has been a very important part of the Ducks, even if the numbers don’t show it.