It’s too early to tell how the Anaheim Ducks’ offense will shape up this season, but should goals become scarce the Ducks might want to re-think sending California prospect Emerson Etem back to junior.
Etem (Long Beach) was a first-round pick in 2010 and a late camp cut this season. No one questions his speed or will to win, nor should they question his offensive ability after the tear he is on for the Medicine Hat Tigers thus far.
Etem was selected the WHL’s Player of the Week after scoring six goals and adding an assist in three games this past weekend. Through eight games, he has 13 goals, which leads the Dub by five. His 17 points (13-4) are one off the league lead.
Etem headlines a group of 17 players with California ties in the Dub this season.
The group is composed of two goalies (Kelowna’s Adam Brown, 91, and Tri-City’s Eric Comrie, 95); six defensemen and nine forwards.
By birth year, there are five 95s, two 94s, one 93, four 92s and five 91s.
Here is a team-by-team look at California’s prospects:
High-scoring left wing Tyler Maxwell (91), who attended training camp with the Minnesota Wild, returns for Everett. … Brown is joined in Kelowna by right wing Shane McColgan (93), a fifth-round pick of the New York Rangers in June’s NHL Entry Draft. McColgan has been a point-per-game player the past two seasons and performed so well at prospect camp that the Rangers invited him to their main camp. … Etem is joined by veteran defeneseman Matthew Konan (91), a previous invitee to Ducks camps, in Medicine Hat.
Portland’s roster includes left wing Tyler Parker (92), and defensemen Cody Castro (92) and William Wrenn (91), a 2009 San Jose Sharks pick who played for the LA Selects. Wrenn is the team’s captain. The Winter Hawks could have had a third California d-man, but Taylor Aronson, a 2010 third-round pick of the Nashville Predators, made Milwaukee of the AHL.
A third California native made Portland, center Chase De Leo, who like Comrie is part of a strong group of 95s from the state. That group also includes Tri-City center Brian Williams, Victoria left wing Taylor Crunk and Prince George defenseman Michael Mylchreest.
The 94s, who are eligible for next June’s entry draft, are Kamloops right wing Chase Souto and Spokane center Liam Stewart.
Other 92s in the Dub include a pair of defensemen, Tyler Vanscourt with Prince Albert and Brandon Underwood with Regina.
Next: A look at California’s NCAA Division I players