Emerson Etem’s time as a New York Ranger has ended before even a full season has passed.
Friday afternoon the Rangers shipped Etem to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for winger Nicklas Jensen and a 2017 sixth-round pick. The deal comes the same day the Rangers had announced they would be shipping Etem to the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack on a conditioning stint, and after TSN’s Bob McKenzie had reported earlier in the day that Etem may be on the move.
Etem, 23, was acquired by the Rangers in the off-season from the Anaheim Ducks along with a second-round pick in exchange for Carl Hagelin, second- and sixth-round picks. Etem hasn’t been able to find a regular spot in the Rangers’ lineup, though, and has suited up for only 19 of New York’s 40 games this season. Etem has been a healthy scratch 18 times this season, including eight of the Rangers’ first nine games.
In his 19 appearances with the Rangers, Etem notched three assists but averaged little more than 11 minutes of ice time per game. Etem, who was the 29th pick in the 2010 draft by Anaheim, had shown some promise with the Ducks before being shipped to New York, but was never able to piece it all together to have a productive season. Etem has scored 15 goals and 34 points in 131 games in the NHL, but he has been a steady contributor in the AHL. In 119 AHL games, Etem has 51 goals and 92 points.
The Rangers receive Jensen, 22, in return for Etem, but Jensen will be reporting straight to the AHL’s Wolf Pack. In 24 career NHL games, Jensen has notched three goals and six points, but he didn’t get a single game in with the big club this season. In 27 AHL games, he had four goals and 12 points.
Jensen had slipped down the depth chart in Vancouver and was likely to keep sliding whenever Brock Boeser decided to leave the NCAA to sign with the Canucks. According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Vancouver’s decision to move Jensen was also in part because he would soon no longer be waiver-exempt, meaning any demotion to the AHL would require him to clear through the league and allow for another club to scoop up Jensen without the Canucks fetching a return.
Both Etem and Jensen are eligible for restricted free agency at season’s end. Etem signed a one-year deal with the Rangers in the off-season and Jensen is coming to the end of his entry-level deal. Should Etem remain on the Canucks roster, Vancouver will have roughly $107,000 to work with under the salary cap. Jensen’s stay in the AHL won’t impact the Rangers’ cap.