(Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images)
By Steve Palumbo (@StevePalumboNHL)
Imagine growing up in Southern California; the land of sun, surf and hockey. Anaheim Ducks prospect Emerson Etem is the latest name to be added to an ever-increasing list of players from the United States’ left coast.
Etem grew up in Long Beach, a beach city located in Los Angeles County. It’s an area more commonly associated with music and formula one racing. After all, it is the home to the likes of Snoop Dogg, Sublime and the world-famous Long Beach Grand Prix.
That’s not exactly a hotbed for ice hockey players, especially good ones, but Etem is a new breed of hockey player: a warm weather hockey player.
He could have followed in his parents’ footsteps and took to the water; California has plenty of that. His mother rowed at the 1984 Olympics and in four World Championships, while his father rowed for the Naval Academy in college and his older brother currently rows for the U.S. national team.
But not Etem,...