The Arizona Coyotes are taking a chance on a former top prospect, signing Emerson Etem to a one-year two-way contract. Salary details have not been released, but it would be hard to see Etem earning much more than the league minimum of $650K.
Last season saw Etem placed on waives twice, first by the Vancouver Canucks and later by the Anaheim Ducks (who had selected him the first time). After heading down the minor league, the 25-year old forward suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first game and finished the year with just four professional games. For a player who relies on his speed as the driving force behind his production, a knee injury can be devastating.
Selected 29th-overall by the Ducks in 2010, Etem showed off his potential with some huge point totals in the WHL and a solid debut in professional hockey. He was eventually traded to the New York Rangers for Carl Hagelin, but made barely any impact there before moving to Vancouver. That stint went a little better until waivers this year, but in all he has just 46 points in 173 career NHL contests. That’s not good enough for a player who was supposed to be a big time point producer, and he’ll have to show something soon.
Already on a two-way deal, Etem will likely start in the AHL and try to prove that he can still contribute. The Coytes are always looking for cheap production, and what better way that to take a chance on a former top pick.