The 20 year old defenseman has had quite the year, first with an invite to the Canadian World Junior team camp, being traded mid-season from the Sudbury Wolves to the Kitchener Rangers and then being sent to Chicago of the AHL and finally last night making his debut for the Vancouver Canucks, at home against their biggest rival the Chicago Blackhawks.
If you think that sounds like a lot of hockey, well you’d be right. In 2012-13, Corrado, the 150th overall pick from the 2011 entry draft played 69 regular season games in the OHL before dressing in another 10 playoff games.
After Kitchener was elimination in the second round of the OHL playoffs Corrado spent 3 games with the Chicago Wolves before playing his first NHL game last night.
He spent most of the night paired up with Alex Edler, which was the plan from the start according to Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault who said he planned on having Edler act as a “big brother” to Corrado in the same way former Canuck Sami Salo was to Edler when he first broke into the league.
What do you mean Corrado didn’t catch a slapshot with his teeth, spit the puck out and take it all the way back down the ice to score a goal? - Some Canucks fan.
That’s obviously a made up quote, but it’s the type of garbage you would almost expect to hear from time to time when a young player comes in and doesn’t wow right away. Remember Sergei Shirokov? Remember the expectation that he was going to be the next Pavel Bure?
Canucks fans by now should understand that there is going to be a learning curve with prospects the team brings in, after all they aren’t the Detroit Red Wings. For Corrado to join the team at the time he did (game 46 of a 48 game season), against one of the teams biggest rivals is a pretty big deal.
Look past the teams desperation for a right handed shot and look at what they’re trying to do.
They’re giving key minutes to an unproven kid, 17:20 to be exact. Those are legit second pairing minutes, especially when you consider that he played more than both Barker (10:44) and Alberts (13:52). Corrado stepped in and filled a hole and did so pretty well, in my opinion.
He played the body, made quick and simple plays and didn’t gamble much with the puck.
There were a couple of times where I thought he may have been trying to hard to impress, one time in particular was his first shift when the Blackhawks were rushing the zone and Corrado came from his side clear across to Edler’s to take the man with the puck. Edler read the play well and adjusted, covering for Corrado on the right side.
But if that’s the biggest knock on his first game in the show, then that’s not all that bad, at least from my perspective.
Where do they go from here?
What happens now is anyone’s guess. I think Corrado’s play last night warrants another look in Thursday’s game against the Ducks, and if he continues to impress then there is no need to rush Kevin Bieksa or Chris Tanev back in the remaining two games of the season.
I’m not saying that Corrado will come in and play Bieksa or Tanev minutes but for the time being he’s a good stop gap, especially while the blue line is as hurting as it is.
That’s all from me today. Go Canucks!