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Canuck Player Autopsy: Emerson Etem

Another of those "do you keep him or not" players. This one has some size and skill, and can score. You want to keep those ones until you are absolutely sure...

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Who Is This Guy?

Position: Right Wing

Shoots: Left

Height: 6' 1"

Weight: A very sturdy 212 lbs

Born: June 16th, 1992 in Long Beach California.  He was drafted 29th overall in 2010 by Anaheim, arriving in Vancouver via New York for one Niklas Jensen in Jan 2016.

What Did He Do?

Emerson Etem knows this is his best chance at making his mark in the NHL in Vancouver, after playing in  Anaheim and with the Rangers.  In the past five years, those two teams have not really been on the down side of the curve when it comes to "playing the kids" like we are here.  Etem would crack the lineup for a bit with the Ducks, but as coaches changed, he became disposable.  There was just not a spot for him in New York, seemingly.  I freely admit to not watching every Ranger game, but it sounds like it was tough to get a shot there.  But here?  Plus ( just kidding, sarcasm font ) he was a Medicine Hat Tiger, and we all know how important that is around here.

So the California native comes to Hollywood North.  He certainly got his shot here. Of course, expectations and reality make for a strange mix with our demanding fanbase, and he may not have been twitter's favorite player, but that's OK.  There are only so many NHL jobs.

In his 19 games with the Rangers, he got 3 assists, and in the 39 games, he got 7 goals and 5 assists, with 4 goals coming in the last 5 games in Blue and Green.  In his 58 games, he took 93 shots, which put him 6th on the team in shots / 60.

Was He Any Good?

My new favorite website is  Once you get used to the amount of info there, you can click all over and see how guys compared in both basic and advanced stats.  For Etem, ( see here ) he is Top Five in some categories, and Top Ten in pretty well all of them.  Corsi, Fenwick, shots, he is, at least as far as the Canucks performed against one another, a very good performer.

Another thing, strictly from my recollections of watching him play this season.  He forechecks.  Hard.  He is pretty good at it too, pinning guys and getting the puck freed up for his teammates.  Jim Benning wants to have guys that are hard to play against.  Etem certainly qualifies for that descriptor of his play.

He performed well in all the individual stats and advanced stats, and showed his moments as far as the "eyeball test" goes, yet we still seem to want more.  I think that with this player, there came a feeling that, well, damn, he is pretty fast, he hits hard ( he averaged just under 2 hits, and just under 1 block a game, with 61 and 36 blocks respectively ), he shows these flashes of offensive "wow" more often than not, even if he doesn't yet cash in the chances he creates at the rate you think he should.  That can be frustrating, but as far as being "good" ? Yes, I do think he was "any good".  Definitely.

What Did We Like?

Some of the mic'd up are "meh", but this one is very good.

I liked his first Canuck goal for a couple reasons.  It was against the Flambes', and that is a great shot.  Stick tap, and the puck is gone as soon as the pass gets there...

This shootout goal is so stylish. The move to open up Talbot, before slipping it through him.  Very nice.

I like the "Canucks In Cars" series.  Etem was a fan of Pavel too, eh ?

What Did We Hate ?

If you click around the table I gave you above from hockey analysis, you can see that Etem was very good at shots per / 60, with 7.67.  His shooting percentage this season was only 6.45 %.  He seems to create a lot of chances with his speed and ability to forecheck.

That million dollar question is always what separates the guys making big money from those making the BIG money, putting the puck in the net with increasing regularity.  That is what he needs to do better.  He is still only ( soon ) 24 years old.  I know the NHL is trending younger, but 24 is still "young", right ?

So, What Now?

Emerson is an arbitration eligible RFA this year, and earned 850 K or thereabouts this past season.  I think that you re-sign him.  He did not have a superb season as far as the arbitration would go ( though if they looked at those same stats we did above, it all depends on how much his lawyer puts out there.  Some guys mention every thing a guy did on the ice, and  quite a bit off of it too ! ), but I don't think it gets to that.

I could be wrong, of course.  Perhaps Jim Benning and his staff decide they want to go another way.  But I think the player has done enough, and has the level of skill of a first round pick still.  That is not a player just to discard onto the bargain bin for the other GMs to paw over.

BTW, apropos of nothing, but I really do think it is "Canuck Player Autopsy" without the "s" guys.  It is a singular player we re writing about, right ?  Or, if you are using the "s", shouldn't you also use the ' afterwards ?  Just a thought.  #GrammarDebates