BY JOHN BAIN – FAN FUEL BLOGGER
Frank Corrado was a fifth round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Vancouver Canucks, but he sure isn’t playing like a fifth rounder right now. The 19-year-old defenceman is captain of the Ontario Hockey League’s Sudbury Wolves and with 24 points is already on the verge of passing his career high of 26 set last year. Not only this, but Corrado is playing his way into an opportunity to crack the roster for Canada’s World Junior team this season.
In such a competitive atmosphere, where eight defencemen entered battling for the final three spots on Canada’s back end, Corrado can be viewed as a surprise. Through the first two exhibition games, Corrado has two goals, something he was not invited to camp to do, but rather to play a solid game in his own end.
Even the Vancouver Canucks scouting staff felt they already has enough offensive defencemen on their team, and wanted a smart, gritty defensive defenceman when they picked up Corrado 150th overall in 2011. Since that day, Corrado is shaping into a formidable all around defenceman.
Team Canada coach Steve Spott had expected Corrado to be auditioning for a shutdown role on the blue line instead of an offensive one, but should Corrado make the team, he might have to adjust his strategy when playing the Sudbury Wolves captain.
Canucks fans should be excited about the young Corrado. The last time Vancouver had someone to cheer for and get excited about for Team Canada’s juniors was the late Luc Bourdon. Corrado brings a style that has not been seen by Canucks fans in a long time. The versatility Corrado has shown not only in the World Junior camp, but also this season, is something every NHL team wants to have, but it is also rare. Corrado can be thrown on the ice in any situation, whether it be penalty kill, powerplay, 5-on-5, or even a shootout, Corrado can play any role.
All in all though, Corrado has used Hockey Canada’s camp as a place to truly showcase his skills for all to see, and prove that he was a pick the Canucks will not regret. He is playing against the top players in Canada and competing with several of them for roster spots and he is proving he deserves one of those spots. Should Corrado finish camp strong, there is no reason he shouldn’t end up with a spot on Canada’s back end, and he should get an opportunity to compete in main camp for a spot with Vancouver when the lockout finally ends. Frank Corrado could prove to be one of the biggest steals of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
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