2006-07: Emerson Etem was drafted by the Medicine Hat Tigers in the sixth round (115th overall) of the 2007 WHL Bantam Draft.
2007-08: Etem skated for the Shattuck-St. Mary prep team as a sophomore as the team captured USA Hockey’s Tier I U18 National Championship. The youngest player on the team as a 15-year-old, he scored 13 goals with 15 assists and had 20 PMs in 58 games.
2008-09: Played for the U.S. NTDP Under-17 squad. In 50 games for that team, Etem scored 23 goals and added 22 assists for 45 points.
2009-10: In his WHL rookie season, Etem played in 72 games for the Tigers. He scored 37 goals and added 28 assists for 65 points, finishing at +8 for the season. In 12 playoff games, Etem scored 7 goals and chipped in 3 assists for 10 points. Named the Tigers’ 2009-10 Rookie of the Year. Etem played in the 2010 CHL Top Propsects Game, scoring a shorthanded goal for the victorious Team Cherry. Etem was chosen in the first round, 29th overall, of the 2010 NHL Draft by the Anaheim Ducks.
2010-11: Etem was the second-leading scorer for Medicine Hat; playing a big role for the Tigers in the second half of the season and during the WHL playoffs. The Long Beach, CA native also skated for Team USA at the 2011 U20 World Junior Championship as an 18-year-old. Etem scored 45 goals with 36 assists and had a team-high +41 plus/minus with 24 PMs in 65 games during the WHL regular season. He added 10 goals and 11 assists in 15 playoff games as the Tigers reached the Eastern Conference finals. Etem drew the ire of Buffalo fans during the World Junior tournament for some ill-timed comments and finished the tournament -1 with 1 goal in six games as the host Americans finished third.
2011-12: Etem had an eventful 19-year-old season – returning to Medicine Hat after attending Anaheim’s training camp, skating in the 2012 U20 World Junior Championships, and making his pro hockey debut with AHL Syracuse after leading the WHL in goals. Etem scored 1 goal and was plus-one with 2 penalty minutes in two April games with the Crunch during the regular season and played in all four playoff games; scoring 2 goals with a minus-one plus/minus. He scored 61 goals with 46 assists and was plus-29 with 34 penalty minutes in 65 games for Medicine Hat. The Tigers reached the second round of the WHL playoffs and Etem scored 7 goals with 6 assists and was plus-two with 13 penalty minutes in seven playoff games. Playing in his second WJC for the USA, he had 4 assists and was minus-one in six games as the USA finished seventh.
2012-13: Etem made his NHL debut at the end of January and played in 38 games for the Ducks in his first pro season. After a two-week demotion to Norfolk in February, he finished the year with Anaheim and had 3 goals with 7 assists and was +7 with 9 penalty minutes. He played in all seven games in the Ducks series with Detroit and was a team-best +4 with 3 goals and 2 assists. In 45 AHL games with Norfolk he scored 13 goals with 3 assists and was -1 with 12 penalty minutes.
Etem has an unorthodox skating style but it sure gets him around the ice quickly. He can make plays at high speeds, thanks in large part to the lightning-quick release on his lethally accurate shot. He courted a goal-per-game in his final junior season, proving to be one of the most explosive players in all the CHL. Etem has also proven an effective penalty killer that poses a constant threat to generate a shorthanded goal. He needs to improve his play without the puck and continue to develop his physique.
Etem has been dealt for the second time in less than a year, this time from the New York Rangers to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Nicklas Jensen and a draft pick.