Nelson Emerson was never hampered by his size. It was never like he was overly small, measuring in at 5’11 and 181 lbs.
However, he is another player that might have benefited from playing in today’s NHL. He still managed good stats in his day though.
Emerson’s career highs were 33 goals and 74 points. Of course, with St. Louis’ luck, those came the very season after the Blues traded him to the Winnipeg Jets.
Nevertheless, you wonder how he might have fared in today’s game as opposed to the early and mid-1990’s. He scored most of those points in a time when defenders could grab onto him to negate his speed or shiftiness.
Perhaps he gets up toward 40 goals or more playing in today’s game. Smaller players, with similar styles, like Alex Debrincat have eclipsed 40 goals.
Johnny Gaudreau is listed as 5’9 and has still managed to score 89 and 99 points in consecutive seasons, before having a down year in 2019-20.
Speed plays in the late 2010’s and early 2020’s. Like so many of the other forwards on here, Emerson got his points anyway. You just wonder how many more he would have gotten when defenders could not slow him down as much or bully him.
The NHL will always be a physical game. It’s not as hard to get space now as it was during his day.
Maybe that’s only a handful of extra points during a season. Those all add up over the course of a career where Emerson already had 488 points.