Philippe Cornet is a skill winger who can post terrific numbers in the QMJHL. This doesn’t guarantee a quality NHL player but he does have some nice underlying skills, has some gumption and has been healthy through his junior career.
Cornet’s progression through the QMJHL is in the range with two other Oiler prospects who played their junior hockey in Quebec.
- Cornet (17) 61gp, 23-26-49 (.803)
- Cornet (18) 63gp, 29-48-77 (1.22)
- Cornet (19) 33gp, 19-29-48 (1.45)
Here’s how things rolled out for Trukhno:
- Trukhno (17) 64gp, 25-34-59 (.921)
- Trukhno (18) 60gp, 28-68-96 (1.60)
- Trukhno (19) 60gp, 25-77-102 (1.70)
Pouliot was a higher selection and had a wider range of skills, but let’s list him as well.
- Pouliot (17) 65gp, 32-41-73 (1.12)
- Pouliot (18) 42gp, 25-33-58 (1.38)
- Pouliot (19) 70gp, 45-69-114 (1.63)
All three of these prospects had some nice counting numbers in junior but two of the three have not delivered as hoped offensively since turning pro. Both Trukhno and Cornet stayed healthy during their junior careers and Cornet has a chance to play for Canada this Christmas at the World Junior’s.
Cornet has gained some weight since being drafted (QMJHL site now lists him at 6.0, 189) and he’s going to exceed 200 shots again this season (242 in 63 games a year ago and 118 in 33 games in 09-10). He’s right near the top of league scoring (tied for 2nd) and assists (2nd) and powerplay goals (tied for 2nd). He’s winning “player of the week” awards with frequency and his offense has improved steadily.
I think Cornet’s gumption (identified by Redline report before his draft day) and puck skills probably mean he’ll sign a pro contract and get every chance to move up the depth chart and onto an NHL roster. He’s a better skater than Trukhno at the same age (several reports had Trukhno as a wide body skater) and he’s definitely capable offensively at the junior level.
I didn’t move him up this winter because there are other bets that are better. He’s certainly a quality prospect.