The Philadelphia Flyers are having high hopes for Steve Eminger as did the Washington Capitals had for him six years ago.
The Flyers announced the signing of the 24-year-old, Steve Eminger, to a one year contract. Eminger was picked by the Washington Capitals at the 12th overall pick in the 2002 entry draft. Eminger is 6-feet-2 while weighing in at 211 pounds.
Over four seasons in the OHL, the defenseman posted 29 goals and 106 assists for the Kitchener Rangers. Soon after, Eminger made the jump to the NHL. Over two seasons with the Washington Capitals, Eminger posted a mere six points (six assists.) A huge disappointment in the eyes of Washington's front office, the defenseman was placed down to the Capitals AHL affiliate, the Portland Pirates.
Eminger then posted 3 goals and 21 assists for the club over two more years. Eminger impressed the Capitals with his play in the AHL. The defenseman made the jump back to the NHL. Over three more seasons with the Capitals, Steve Eminger had 6 goals, and 31 assists.
Paul Holmgren gave up the 27th overall pick of the 2008 entry draft in exchange for Steve Eminger and a third round pick in the 2008 entry draft. Some questioned if Eminger was worth a first round pick, but there could be a few reasons why Eminger struggled in Washington's system.
First of all, Steve Eminger went through three different coaches in his five seasons spent with the Capitals. This could have a drastic influence on an eighteen year old's career.
Under coach Bruce Cassidy, Eminger was asked to be a defensive defenseman. Under coach Glen Hanlon, Steve Eminger was asked to be more of an offensive defenseman.
Eminger has the potential to be either a puck moving defenseman or a stay-at-home defenseman, it is just a matter of time for him to find where he belongs on the blue line.
And under coach Bruce Boudreau, Eminger didn't really have much of a role. Boudreau only played Eminger in twenty games during the 2007-2008 season.
"I'm not a one dimensional offensive guy. There were a lot of different signals, and that led to not having my own identity. I think a player should be his own player." Eminger said.
Due to the injuries of Jeff Schultz and John Erskine, Eminger had a chance to face the Flyers in five games during the playoffs. Eminger registered 1 goal and was a plus-2 in those five games.
Eminger is viewed as an underachiever in many eyes. The defenseman would like to prove his critics wrong and have a great season with the Flyers. Paul Holmgren and John Stevens believe that Eminger will make the NHL this season and will bounce back after another disappointing season.