Shocked one pick already fell into their laps in the first round, the Ducks were flabbergasted when it happened again and Emerson Etem
was available with the 29th overall selection.
Anaheim snapped up the Long Beach native with its second selection on the first day of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, drawing a huge ovation from the crowd at Staples Center in the first draft held in California in league history.
"Right near the end, we were just holding our breath and it happened," Ducks Executive VP/GM Bob Murray said. "Etem can flat out fly and we need some speed. He was a great interview. Our guys loved him. He is a nice young man."
Etem, a right winger, led all WHL rookies with 37 goals and was fourth overall with 65 points in 72 games with Medicine Hat in 2009-10. Eighth among North American skaters in the final Central Scouting rankings, he was pleased to slip on the Ducks sweater in front of his many supporters on hand.
"Friends and family were all sitting next to me, probably just as anxiously waiting as I was," Etem said. "I couldn’t have fallen to a better organization. They just present such high class. It’s just such an exciting time for me."
Before Medicine Hat, Etem played for the U.S. Under-17 National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Michigan. There he spent some time getting to know the Ducks other first round draft pick, Cam Fowler
"Cam and I are great buddies," Etem said. "He is such a great guy. I just can’t wait to enjoy this experience with him."
Selecting two players in the first round for the second straight year and third time in franchise history, the Ducks came away with two players they had highly ranked and never pictured being part of the organization together.
"Never in our wildest dreams did we think we’d get those two players on the first day," Murray said. "All day long we kept thinking about moving up. Finally we just said, ‘You know, things are falling our way. Let’s just leave it alone’. It turned out to be a really good day. We haven’t given away anything and we’ve done okay." - Bob Murray
"Never in our wildest dreams did we think we’d get those two players on the first day," Murray said. "All day long we kept thinking about moving up. Finally we just said, ‘You know, things are falling our way. Let’s just leave it alone’. It turned out to be a really good day. We haven’t given away anything and we’ve done okay."
Etem admitted to growing up a Kings fan, but has now quickly changed his allegiance in the rivalry.
"The Ducks are my new favorite team," he said. "For me, it’s such an exciting time. I can’t wait to put on that uniform, dress with them every night and play against the Kings. I know it’s a huge rivalry. People were chirping me out there already. I know what is coming and I’m all for it."
Though he grew up just down the 22 freeway from Honda Center, Etem said he has never watched a game inside the Ducks home rink. His first will be donning black, gold and orange.
This might sound embarrassing, but I have never been to a Ducks game before," Etem said. "I live 20 minutes from Honda Center. I was always around it, but my first game there I will be playing in it."