Sami Vatanen was the 4th round pick for the Ducks in 2009. He is a puck moving d man that will add a skilled quarterback to the Crunch power play next year. His is small for a d man but has learned to use his size and speed to keep himself out of trouble. This is a great upgrade to the d corps and he can be huge for the Crunch next year. If he was a few inches taller, he would have been a first round pick. The Crunch just got better with this signing and Crunch fans should be excited about Sami coming to Syracuse. He will need to adapt to North American hockey but he has shown in the World Juniors that he can skate with some of the best from Canada and the US.
Archive for May 2011
Anaheim announced today that their second draft pick from 2010, Emerson Etem (1st round, 29th overall), has signed a three-year entry-level contract.
The 18-year-old forward helped Team USA to a bronze medal at the 2011 World Juniors in Buffalo. He also helped himself to a swarm of jeers after he took to his Twitter account to refer to the Nickel City as a “ghost town” and the “worst city ever.” He later apologized.
To be fair, he’s from Long Beach, so he probably won’t think much of the Ol’ Salt City either, provided he gets to spend some time with the Crunch. Here’s an excerpt from the press release:
A native of Long Beach, California, Etem scored 80 points (45g, 35a) with a plus-41 rating and 24 penalty minutes (PIM) in 65 games with the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League (WHL) last season. Etem, 18, finished tied for fifth in the WHL in goals and tied for eighth in plus/minus. He also led the WHL in shorthanded goals (9) and tied for 12th in power play goals (15). Among team leaders, Etem ranked second in points and goals, and first in power play tallies and plus/minus. In 15 WHL Playoff games, Etem added 21 points (10g, 11a) to finish 10th in the league.
Etem is the highest drafted Southern California born-and-trained player in Ducks history and third-highest in NHL history. The 6-0, 195-pound right wing played his minor hockey at the Los Angeles Hockey Club before moving to Shattuck-St. Mary’s Prep School in Faribault, MN in 2007-08 and later the U.S. National Development Program in 2008-09. Etem represented Team USA at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, NY, scoring one goal in six games to help his country to a bronze medal in the tournament.
Etem made his WHL debut with Medicine Hat in 2009-10, earning 65 points (37g, 28a) with a plus-8 rating in 72 games. Named Medicine Hat’s Rookie of the Year for 2009-10, Etem ranked second on the club in goals and fourth in scoring. Among all WHL rookies, he finished first in goals and fourth in points. Etem has appeared in 137 career WHL games, collecting 145 points (82g, 63a) with a plus-49 rating and 50 PIM. He has also skated in 27 career WHL Playoff games, recording 31 points (17g, 14a) with the Tigers.
And now for something new, a sports highlight clip set to Fort Minor:
If you ask any AHL fan worth their salt about what they’d like changed in their beloved league, I could almost guarantee that a fair majority would say they want the crossover rule eliminated. This rule is a bane to many fans, especially those who get the short end of the stick in their division, as Crunch fans did for a few years. Although now we can technically reap the benefits of the crossover rule, I’m still not sure it should exist.
However, the recent performance of a certain AHL team has me questioning if maybe, just maybe, the crossover rule can be justified.
As Newport first alerted us this morning, the Ducks have indeed signed 25 year old goalie Irio Tarkki (oh goodie, another name I’m not going to be able to say) to a one-year contract. From the Crunch’s official release:
Tarkki, 25, appeared in 55 games last season with the Espoo Blues of Finland’s SM-liiga, going 20-20-14 (W-L-T) with a 2.09 goals against average, .924 save percentage and five shutouts. In addition, he skated in 18 playoff games with Espoo, going 10-8 with a 2.19 goals against average and .924 save percentage while leading his club to the Finnish Elite League finals.
A native of Rauma, Finland, Tarkki has appeared in 200 career SM-liiga games with Lukko, SaiPa and Espoo since the 2004-05 season, going 67-90-37 with a 2.93 goals against average and .904 save percentage.
Newport, I’m getting the vibe that this guy will be a Crunchie, but that makes for an interesting traffic jam in front of our net. What do you think is going to happen?