27-Year-Old Center – Free Agent
Cory Emmerton Contract Information:
Became an unrestricted free agent in July 2014.
The Red Wings have assigned Emmerton to AHL Grand Rapids, the Detroit Free Press reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
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After spending all of 2012-13 with the Red Wings, Emmerton was displaced to AHL Grand Rapids for most of last season. He certainly produced, with 46 points in 53 regular season games and nine points in 10 playoff games, and could push Joakim Andersson for that fourth center spot in the fall.
Emmerton played well in his first full season for the Red Wings, scoring eight points and playing all 48 games. Too bad this performance didn't translate into the playoffs. Understandably, he got much less ice time as a result. Those growing pains are to be expected for a first-year player. Detroit tried him out, but Emmerton ended up a salary cap casualty in late September, being waived by the Wings.
Very quietly, Emmerton appeared in 71 games for the Wings last season. Much like Jan Mursak, his role on the club come Opening Night is far from guaranteed and his contributions will likely be limited to that of a fourth-line player if he's able to break camp with Detroit. It's likely that Emmerton will be leapfrogged for regular minutes by the likes of Damian Brunner, Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar among others.
Emmerton potted a goal in his NHL debut with the Wings last season, but the former second-round pick is likely to open the year at Grand Rapids (AHL) and center a scoring line there before getting a look with the big club again when injuries create the need. Still just 23, Emmerton hasn't reach the 40-point plateau with the Griffins during his three full seasons there, but there's reason to believe he'll develop into a decent pivot when it's all said and done.
Emmerton is ticketed for his second full season at Grand Rapids (AHL), where he'll be expected to account for the production lost with the likes of Ville Leino, Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader becomes a regular part of the plans in Detroit. He's not as talented as new teammate Dick Axelsson, but Emmerton has the work ethic and smarts that the Wings covet.
Emmerton will move up to Grand Rapids (AHL) to begin the 2008-09 season, but he'll need another year or two to add bulk to his frame and refine his game before the Wings consider him for a depth role. As is the case with many of the team's prospects, Emmerton would be on a faster track in any other organization. Long term, he's got point-per-game playmaker written all over him.
Emmerton is one of the highest rated prospects in the Detroit system, but the Red Wings will give him plenty of time to develop in the minors before bringing him up to the NHL.
Emmerton is quick and creative, and projects as a playmaking forward in the pros. A tad undersized at 5'11" and 181 lbs, Emmerton more than makes up for it with his hockey smarts and his intensity. He has offensive skills than cannot be taught and the Wings will give him plenty of time to develop.