32-Year-Old Defenseman – Free Agent
Steve Eminger Contract Information:
Signed a professional tryout offer with AHL Lake Erie in January 2016.
Eminger was one of 10 players released from the Bruins' training camp in order to join AHL's Providence's camp.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
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More known for his feisty and physical play, the 29-year-old defenseman split the 2012-13 season between the Rangers and AHL-affiliate Hartford collecting a goal and three assists in 39 combined games. More surprising was Eminger's involvement in the playoff run, posting two assists and four penalty minutes in 11 games played. A former Washington first round pick (12th overall in 2002), Eminger has never really lived up to his expected potential. There's a ton of depth on the blue line in Broadway, so it's a good thing Eminger is capable of playing the wing. However, he's not likely to see a ton of ice time, making him irrelevant in most fantasy formats.
Eminger played 42 games for the Blueshirts last season and was often a healthy scratch for the club when he wasn't battling minor injuries. He posted two goals and three assists during the regular season and wasn't active for any of the Rangers' playoff games. Owners should expect more of the same for the defenseman this season, which limits his upside and usefulness in most leagues.
After bouncing around the league with six different teams as a general disappointment, Eminger played very solid, unassuming defense for the Rangers last season and it led to a new contract in the summer. Eminger was the ideal bottom-pairing rearguard, sometimes drawing in and out of the lineup enabling the Rangers to play their younger defensemen when necessary. This season looks to be much the same, as he is likely to play on the third pairing with either Michael Del Zotto or Tim Erixon.
Acquired by the Rangers in July for Aaron Voros and Ryan Hillier, Eminger could prove to be a sneaky and great pickup for the Blueshirts. With Wade Redden’s career all but over, Eminger looks likely to fill in as the final defenseman on Broadway. He recorded four goals and 12 helpers while receiving 19:29 of ice time per game in 63 contests for the Ducks last year. Eminger is just 26 years old and was a former 12th overall pick by the Washington Capitals back in 2002, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see him succeed with his sixth NHL team in just eight years of service. If you’re willing to take a flyer late in the draft on a young defenseman with a bit of potential, than Eminger is your guy; he should put up between 20 and 30 points, assuming he’s healthy for the full season.
Eminger was acquired by the Flyers, from the Capitals, during a draft-day trade in June. Eminger is considered a decent two-way player, but has only one goal over the past two seasons in 88 games played. He is not a worthy of a selection in fantasy, but a fresh start in Philadelphia could be good for him after spending the past five seasons with the Capitals after being selected in the first round in 2002.
The Capitals have been waiting for Eminger's breakthrough for the last few seasons, but the odds are at this point it's not going to happen. Supposed to be an offensive defensemen when drafted in 2002, Eminger has only put up 41 points in 192 NHL games. On top of that, he's struggled in the defensive end, finishing last among Washington defensemen in plus-minus for the second straight season with a minus-14 rating, and sports a career minus-40 rating while often looking lost in his own end and racking up minor penalties. This may be the 24-year-old's last season to prove that he can be a successful defenseman in the NHL.
Eminger was supposed to emerge as the Caps' top defenseman after the inevitable departure of Brendan Witt, but his 2005-06 season didn't go as he had hoped. After getting off to a quick start, Eminger's offense and defense both went downhill. Just as he was rebounding, he suffered a high ankle sprain that kept him out over a month of the season, which would have been longer if not for the Olympic break. Eminger, supposed to be an offensive threat, finished third among Caps' defensemen in scoring with 18 points in 66 games, but was pushed off the power play by others with more potent shots from the point even when healthy. Even worse, Eminger was last among Washington defensemen with a minus-12 rating. The Caps are hoping that the 12th overall pick in the 2002 draft will continue to develop, and with only one significant defensive addition this offseason, a healthy Eminger should improve over his disappointing stats from last season.
Eminger was drafted in the first round in 2002 with the hope that he'd develop into a solid offensive defenseman. While Eminger hasn't quite produced to that extent in the NHL with only six points in 58 games, he did have 20 points in 62 games in the AHL in 2004-05, and will almost certainly garner a spot on the Caps' blue line this season.