Cory Emmerton signs with new KHL team

Red Wings forward decides to try Russian league

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Dallas Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen stops a shot by Red Wings forward Cory Emmerton during the 2012-13 NHL season


Cory Emmerton is officially moving on from the Detroit Red Wings after signing with the Sochi Leopards of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.

The 25-year-old was drafted 41st overall in 2006 by Detroit. Since then, Emmerton has appeared in 139 games with the Red Wings -- notching 12 goals and 9 assists -- and 18 playoff games in which he tallied a goal and an assist.

Since 2007-08, he played a lot of games with Detroit's AHL affiliate the Grand Rapids Griffins. In 53 games with the Griffins this past season, Emmerton scored 46 points (16 G, 30 A) -- his best professional season to date. Yet, his best season with the Red Wings came and went in 2011-12 when he enjoyed a steady spot on the team. In 71 games he scored 6 goals and tallied 4 helpers.

Emmerton, who was shifting between center and left wing and typically getting 4th-line minutes, would never again see much ice time with the Red Wings. Detroit's young talent (I.e: Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheahan, Luke Glendening, etc.) began to flourish, and Emmerton's place in coach Mike Babcock's lineup became less steady. It became apparent that he would need to go to another organization to see more ice team in the NHL, or somewhere else.

Emmerton chose to go somewhere else. As a restricted free agent with the Red Wings, he has signed a 1-year contract with Sochi for the team's inaugural season in the KHL.

Emmerton is a native of St. Thomas, Ontario. He played junior hockey with the OHL's Kingston Frontenacs and Brampton Battalion. In his sophomore OHL year he scored 26 goals and 64 assists for 90 points in 66 games.

Here is a look at his first NHL goal on Jan. 22, 2010 at Joe Louis Arena. Corey Crawford was in net for the Chicago Blackhawks.


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