The Ducks were cheered in Staples Center, perhaps for the first time ever, when general manager Bob Murray announced the selection of Long Beach native Emerson Etem.
Here is the NHL.com scouting report:
In his first Western Hockey League season, Etem led all rookies in goals (37) and finished fourth overall in points (65) in 72 games. He added another seven goals (7-3–10) in 12 playoff games and was named Medicine Hat’s Rookie of the Year for 2009-10.
In 2008-09, he played for the U.S. Under-17 National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Michigan, recording 45 points (23-22–45) in 50 games. That season, his linemates were fellow California-born players Matthew Nieto (Long Beach, CA) and Chase Balisy (Fullerton, CA). Nieto (2011 eligible) and Etem are longtime friends, having met playing roller hockey together at their local YMCA.
Leaving home at the age of 14, he attended Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault, Minnesota — a school known for producing young NHL stars like Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Zach Parise and Jack Johnson. He decided he wanted to attend Shattuck after his older brother, Mark (five years his senior), competed in the same tournament with Shattuck-St. Mary’s during Crosby’s tenure.
He has spent the past three off-seasons taking a train over two hours each way to workout with renowned California-based trainer T.R. Goodman and several NHLers including: Chris Chelios, Mike Comrie and Mike Commodore.
Athleticism runs in the Etem family, not on frozen water, but instead, in water. His mother, Patricia, rowed at the 1984 Olympics and four World Championships, his father, Rick, rowed for the Naval Academy in college and his older brother, Martin, currently rows for the U.S. Under-23 national team.
He got his start playing roller hockey at the age of three before switching to ice hockey three years later. In California, he played his minor hockey for the Los Angeles Hockey Club and had a paper route he could rollerblade to earn money for his hockey equipment.