The name Emerson Etem might only ring a bell to few these days, but not too long ago he was a promising NHL prospect with years in the league ahead of him.

A first round pick by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2010 draft, Etem had high expectations after totaling 252 points in 202 WHL games. But what looked like a promising career was unfortunately interefered with by a scary knee injury in 2013.

During a preseason game between the Ducks and San Jose Sharks, Etem went down with a horrifying looking knee injury after colliding with forward Raffi Torres in San Jose’s zone. Both players were forced to eventually leave the ice and from the sounds of it, the injury haunted Etem for the rest of his career. After a strong postseason the spring before, (3 goals, 2 assists in 7 games), Etem never seemed to get back in a proper groove. In his next 135 regular season games, the 26-year-old managed to record just 36 points and was intermittently sent down to the AHL over that stretch. Now, after a stint playing in Switzerland and a final tryout with the Ontario Reign that resulted in him getting cut after nine games, Etem took to Instagram to give those following his career a hint at why he was never able to quite reach his full potential.



I’ve never made excuses on what should have been. Life throws so much at us both good and bad, I know it’s truly meant to make us stronger. This was a non televised 2013 pre-season tilt and wasn’t on live TV. Myself and Raffi Torres got into a collision. I had a great playoffs the year before and was playing great hockey up until this. I battled for years after this just trying to put something together. I pray for the Robby Fabbri’s of the world to just somehow find a way. I pray for my good buddy Derek Dorsett who was playing awesome before his career was cut short. I’m not bitter about not playing, not one bit. I have an amazing family and a little girl on the way. For all of you that didn’t reach your full potential due to injury, I’m with you!

A post shared by Emerson Etem (@etemerson) on

There’s nothing worse than seeing a player’s career get interfered with by injury but unfortunately it’s a sad part of the game and as Emerson wrote, he’s not the only one who’s been affected by it. St. Louis Blues forward Robby Fabbri missed the entire 2018-18 season due to injury and has played just 30 games this year while Derek Dorsett was forced to hang up his skates due to a neck injury at the age of just 32.


It’s nice to at least see that Etem has come to terms with his injuries and has a positive state of mind, but it’s obviously upsetting to think about what could have been if this play hadn’t of happened. We’ll have to see if Emerson can make his way back onto a roster with a new team in the future.

(H/T Emerson Etem)