The hard-hitting defenseman came on strong late in the 2003-04 season in the High League (Russia 2), as well as with the Russian U18 National Team. Played in the Upper league as a 17-year-old, where he racked up the penalty minutes.
Has seen limited action in the Russian Super League with Lada this season. Also was a memeber of the World Junior U-20 Silver medal team.
2006-07: The defenseman’s third season with Tolyatti Lada (RSL) resulted in two goals and seven points in 43 games.
2007-08: Emelin joined up with Kazan Ak-Bars (RSL) this season, registering four goals in 56 games. His 123 penalty minutes were one of his highest totals to date.
2008-09: The D-man skated with Kazan Ak-Bars (KHL) this season, registering five goals in 51 games. He also netted a goal through seven playoff games. Emelin’s future is very much in the air. The club thought he was going to be a part of the club’s AHL franchise, on a fast-track to the NHL. However, some drama with an agent, the Russian league, and mystery contracts has seen the blueliner languish in a square-peg-round-hole situation in Russia.
2009-10: Emelin returned to the KHL once more, playing in 46 games with Kazan Ak-Bars. On his time, he would find the back of the net once with 6 assists. He would also serve 50 penalty minutes over the season.
2010-11: Emelin was once again one of the most physically imposing defenseman in Russia’s KHL while scoring a career-high 11 goals in his fourth season with Ak Bars Kazan. Emelin’s 26 points in 52 games marked the first time he’d broken the 20-point mark and he was a +16 plus/minus. Emelin scored 7 of his 11 goals on the power play while once again leading Ak Bars Kazan with 117 PMs. After winning the Gagarin Cup in the KHL’s first two seasons and finishing first in the Kharlamov division, Ak Bars was defeated by Salavat Yulaev in the East Conference semifinals. In nine playoff games Emelin was scoreless with 4 PMs. Emelin competed for Russia at the 2011 IIHF World Championship and was scoreless with 29 PMs in nine games. Emelin signed a one-year contract with Montreal in May 2011.
In addition to being a tough, gritty defenseman who excels in the physical side of the game, Emelin's offensive production has risen drastically in recent years. Emelin was a mainstay on the blue line for AK Bars Kazan, winning back-to-back Gagarin Cups as KHL champions.
Emelin's experience abroad and style of play should position him as a viable NHL defenseman in the near future. This May, the 25-year-old signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Canadiens.