The season is over for the Anaheim Ducks, but unlike the 2011-2012 season, when they missed out on the playoffs completely, there is plenty to build on heading into the 2013-14 season. A lot of that is due to the fact that they were able to clinch the no. 2 seed, which means a division title. There’s also the matter of some young talent ready to make an even bigger impact for the club next year.
While the core of this team is obviously well known, there are a few young players that stand on the cusp of breaking out. Most already know about the likes of Cam Fowler, but one player who sort of flew under the radar during the Ducks’ success in 2013 was Emerson Etem.
As the shortened 2013 season wore on for the Ducks, Emerson got better and saw an increased role as a result. His overall point total on the season wasn’t impressive. He had only 10 points, including just three goals, in 38 regular season games.
But it’s what he did outside of the stat sheet, as well as in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, that have many excited about the future of Emerson Etem.
Etem spent the season trying to earn a consistent spot in the lineup. That was delayed a bit when he was sent down to Norfolk at the beginning of February. But when he returned, there was a clear difference. He was an asset on the penalty kill, with his time a man down going up as the season progressed. He even added a couple of shorthanded points on the year.
The postseason was where we really saw what Etem could do. In the seven games of that first round series, Etem managed to equal half of his point production from the regular season. He saw more ice time per game than in the regular season, finishing the playoffs with five points, including three goals, and a plus-4 rating. He was fifth among forwards in shorthanded time per game.
Next season, Etem will definitely see an increased role in the lineup. After a season in which he was trying to prove himself for much of the year, he has a chance to really break out in the 2013-2014 season.