The “Garden Faithful” was sent in a fervor after learning the New York Rangers traded away Swedish speedster Carl Hagelin (and two draft picks) to the Anaheim Ducks for left-winger Emerson Etem and a second round draft pick.
But don’t worry Rangers fans, while the Rangers face numerous challenges—including the loss of Martin St. Louis to whereabouts TBD — they working on sculpting a better team for the 2015-16 season.
Hagelin, the 5-foot-11 fan favorite was well known for his speed and agility, which made him a critical part of the New York Rangers lineup. In the 2014-15 season, Hagelin netted 35 points – 17 goals and 18 assists – in 82 games played. He also helped the team make it to the Eastern Conference Championship this year, scoring 5 points – two goals and three assists – in the playoffs.
While he was a restricted free agent, the Rangers have the salary cap to think of and opted to trade the third-line stringer instead of renegotiating to terms with Hagelin, who made $2.4 million last year as part of a $4.5 million two-year extension made in 2013, according to the New York Daily News.
So just what does Etem bring to the picture? At 6-foot-one, 210 lbs., the 23-year-old left winger proved to be an asset for the western conference powerhouse, the Anaheim Ducks.
In the 2014-15 season, Etem only played 45 games, but scored 10 points—five goals and five assists. During the postseason, Etem scored three goals—one of which made NHL highlight reels, when he beat out defender Jacob Trouba in a 1-on-1 before backhanding the puck past Jets’ goaltender Ondrej Pavelec. Etem’s goal would help tie the game, which the Ducks went on to win 5-2, sweeping the Winnipeg Jet 4-0 in a best-of-seven series.
Etem was first drafted by Anaheim in 2010. A year later, he went on to win bronze for team USA in the 2011 IIHF World Juniors Championship.
In 2012, Etem played 45 games with the Norfolk Admirals (AHL) before being called up to the Ducks, where he played 38 games. During the 2012-13 season he scored 16 points for the Admirals—13 goals and 3 assists—later netting 10 points with the Ducks—three goals and seven assists. He also split his time between the Admirals and the Ducks in the 2013-14 season.
Etem shows great promise for the Blueshirts as someone who will use his size and strength on the forecheck to “manage the puck” while using his agility and skill to tear through the opponent’s defense. It is unclear, however, if the Rangers plan to have Etem fill Hagelin’s spot on the third line.
As for Etem himself, he is excited to wear the Rangers Blue.
I want to thank the @AnaheimDucks organization and the fans that really made me feel at home. With that said it feels great to be a Ranger!