Strong draft driving Ducks' success

Updated: May 10, 2013, 8:59 PM ET
By Craig Custance

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Cam Fowler was taking pictures with his family on the night he was selected by the Ducks with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2010 draft when he heard whom the Ducks selected with their next pick in the first round.

It was Emerson Etem, a player Fowler knew well from their time together in Ann Arbor, Mich., at the U.S. National Team Development Program, and from playing internationally with USA Hockey.

He was thrilled.

"I knew the Ducks were getting a great player," Fowler said when we chatted before Game 5. "He creates a lot with his speed."

The Ducks are reaping the benefits of that 2010 draft, with Fowler and Etem being major contributors to an Anaheim team one win away from the second round of the playoffs. Fowler and Etem slipped to Anaheim's selections that year, with Fowler expected to be a top-five pick and Etem dropping to the Ducks at No. 29.

It was one of those drafts where a team knew immediately that it made out great.