Emerson Etem is going home.
The native of Long Beach, California has been claimed on waivers from the team that originally drafted him 29th overall in the 2010 Draft, the Anaheim Ducks.
Etem was placed on waivers by the Canucks yesterday, after losing his spot on the team to Jack Skille. Vancouver was hoping to retain his rights and send him to Utica, but like Frank Corrado one year ago, he has been snapped up by another NHL team.
Etem was given up on by the Ducks 16 months ago, when they traded him to New York to get Carl Hagelin. His stock dropped fast, and after just 19 games with the Rangers, he was sent to Vancouver in a deal that saw Nicklas Jensen go the other way.
The 24-year-old winger played 39 games for the Canucks last season, scoring 12 points (7-5-12) in 39 games. He was at his best in April, when he scored five points (4-1-5) in five games.
But after a lacklustre four games in the preseason, the Canucks gave up on him, choosing to play a 29-year-old journeyman ahead of him.
Etem is not likely to become a star, or even a 20-goal-scorer, in the NHL. If you haven’t proven yourself at his age, with the opportunities he’s had, you likely never will.
But still, you have to wonder if choosing to cut a player with youth, speed, size, and some upside simply because of four preseason games is the right way to go for a team that’s rebuilding. There’s something to be said for competition in training camp, but there’s also something to be said for a player getting on a bad streak for 11 days.
We’ll see if this makes any tangible impact to the organization. Canucks fans lost their collective marbles last year when Corrado was claimed by the Leafs, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to matter much. Will Etem? Unlikely, but we’ll see.