Day of reckoning coming for Ducks rookies
The Ducks' rookies finished the Young Stars tournament with a 4-2 victory over the Canucks' rookies Wednesday afternoon in Penticton, Canada, their lone triumph in three games. The outcome was sealed on an empty-net goal by 2009 first-round pick Kyle Palmieri, who had missed his first try into the vacated net but succeeded on his second try.
But now comes the hard part.
Rookie camp participants were scheduled to take a bus ride to Vancouver Wednesday night and talk to Ducks General Manager Bob Murray to learn where they're headed next. Some will go back to juniors but some will go to Anaheim Thursday for the main training camp, which begins with physicals on Friday and on-ice work on Saturday.
"Obviously, we all want to go to Anaheim," said Long Beach native Emerson Etem, chosen 29th by the Ducks in the June entry draft. "It's a matter of whatever is best for us and whatever they think is best."
The 18-year-old winger had a power-play goal in the first rookie game and said the entire experience was a helpful step in his journey to the NHL.
"My first game I wasn't really nervous. I just tried to play a simple game," he said by phone. "That kept me calm and cool under the circumstances. Getting that goal took some of the pressure off.
"These games are about getting used to a more physical style of hockey. The Western Hockey League [where he played for Medicine Hat] is a physical league and the travel is rigorous, so I got a taste of that."
He also was glad of the chance to talk to Nick Bonino, who played nine games for the Ducks last season. "I was able to talk to him and ask him some things," Etem said. "That's good for me as a young guy."
The Ducks are expected to announce Thursday who's going to Anaheim and who's headed elsewhere.