6'2" 223 lbs
2011-12 Stats 67GP- 3G- 4A- 7Pts
After completing his first full season in the NHL with a salary of $984,200, the hard hitting Russian blue liner earned a significant raise signing a two-year $2 million contract.
If Emelin continues to deliver crushing hits while improving his all around defensive play, then he will certainly be worth every penny of his new deal.
Emelin established himself as one of the league's hardest hitters after finishing the 2011-12 season 15th in the league in hits — and fourth among defenseman — with 267.
Along with his physical play, Emelin displayed a willingness to sacrifice his body in other ways, blocking 88 shots, good for fourth on the Canadiens.
His style is more defensive but his hard shot can help the team produce from the back end. However, in order to do so he'll need to take more than the 67 shots on net as he did last year.
Much like the physical Mike Komisarek complemented Andrei Markov's game well, Emelin will likely see time with his fellow countryman on the team's second defensive unit.
Where do you think Emelin's fits in? Will he be able to continue his hard hitting ways in his sophomore season?
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Sean is a freelance writer currently contributing to HabsAddict.com. He is also a regular blogger and frequent panelist on the Habs post game show at MontrealHockeyTalk.com You can follow Sean on Twitter
(Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images North America)