Phillippe Cornet is an undersized guy who has recently gained a reputation for some gritty play and gumption. He’s another imp–5.11, 173 and he’s been known to battle in the corners with the big guys. Valiant effort but small guys are ill suited to the chore and the Oilers already have Liam Reddox.
Like Reddox, Cornet has some skill, too.
Let’s start at the far left with Kevin Prendergast: “Highly skilled, good hands, pretty good skater, good hands around the net. He’s probably got to get a little bit tougher in some areas around the ice but we were told the same thing about Hemsky when we took him too.” Based on reports this season from the QMJHL it sounds like Cornet has added some grit to his game and has joined the battle.
From the middle we get this from Stu MacGregor: “He’s that player who has hockey sense and a good stick so he gets to a lot of pucks around the net. He needs to get stronger and improve his skating a little bit but he has those skills that you need to be an elite player and I think he’ll have an opportunity if he develops physically and puts the effort in to learn to battle.”
Finally, a word from Redline Report: “Cornet broke his thumb about a week ago and was supposed to miss a full month of action, but was in the lineup for the Oceanic’s next game two days later. From a kid that we’ve had concerns about being on the smallish side and a bit of a perimeter player, that shows us some of the intestinal fortitude we’ve been looking for from Cornet since he was drafted second overall at the 2006 QMJHL draft.”
He started this season like a house a-fire: 26 points in 21 games to lead the Oceanic and score quite high in the QMJHL. Since then he’s fallen off that pace a little (9 points in his last 10 games) and sits currently at 31gp, 11-24-35 for the season. He leads his team in assists and points and ranks in a tie for 28th in total points in the Q, his 24 assists putting him in a 17th place tie in that category. Cornet is also 6th in the QMHL in shots (131) which is way up from last season’s total (156 in 61 games).
His Desjardins NHLE is 82gp, 9-19-28 which compares well with many of the forwards on my list (Jordan Eberle’s is 82gp, 17-14-31) but his size, strength and footspeed are issues. The are other considerations: he didn’t get an invite to the WJC camp when others around him were extended the opportunity. He didn’t impress anyone at the Junior skills game one year ago.
However, there’s every chance he’ll shoot up the next list (in June). He’s clearly a prospect of interest.