Corrente - courtesy of LowellDevilsHockey.com

 

Every Wednesday this summer, I will bring you a sleeper to watch for the 2009-2010 season (and potentially beyond). Released in no particular order, I will refrain from picking sleepers that have already shown glimpse of breaking out in the past – the obvious candidates. Time to go beneath the surface for some sleepers that you may have not thought about…

 

 


My pick this week is well below the radar compared to the last two featured players (Michael Frolik and Matthew Lombardi). He is a player I have mentioned a few times in the forums, especially over the past few months. If you are on one-year leagues or shallow keeper leagues, he probably should not be on your radar for at least a year or two. But if you are like me and need these gems to push you over the top, he is the perfect sleeper pick.

Matthew Corrente was drafted with the last pick of the first round by New Jersey in the 2006 Entry Draft. He played for Saginaw, Mississauga, and Niagara over four seasons in the OHL. His best offensive campaign came in 2005-2006, where he recorded 30 points. He had an impressive 15 points in 21 games with Niagara in 2007-2008, and had five points in 10 playoff games as well. He made the jump to the professional level last season, and had a very solid season with the Lowell Devils. Corrente scored six goals, dished out 12 helpers, and racked up 161 minutes in penalties. His stats are not eye popping, but he projects very well to the NHL level. Corrente has been a PIM giant throughout his career. In 187 career OHL games, he recorded a monster 419 PIM.

The Devils believe he is NHL ready and they are a team that takes the patient approach to prospect development. As you can see from Corrente’s numbers, he is far from an offensive catalyst. However, he had some impressive numbers at the end of his OHL career, and he had a solid 18 points on a goal-starved Lowell club. There are also many examples of players surpassing their junior and AHL numbers at the NHL level. Mike Green is the most obvious example of this. Although he is far from comparable to Corrente, the point still stands.

In deep keeper leagues, 20-30 point, 150+ PIM defensemen are a valuable asset, and that is exactly where I see Corrente. He plays with a similar snarl to Kevin Bieksa in Vancouver. Corrente is not a lock to make the Devils this season (I’d say he has an 80% chance to make the team), but he will be a solid and important part of their team for the next decade. The Devils drafted Zach Parise in 2003, and Travis Zajac in 2004. Their 2005 pick Niklas Bergfors will probably make the team this season, but he has been a major flop so far. The Devils saw something in Corrente in 2006, and that is good enough for me. If a player is drafted by St. Louis, New Jersey, or Detroit, I pay closer attention to him. I just ask that you don’t mention Ari “the future” Ahonen to me…


Write comment
Comments (8)add comment

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... Correct that: I like Corrente short-term. Not sure about longer term with regards to the comparison.
July 15, 2009
Votes: +0

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... I like Corrente long-term. Don't know a ton about Gaunce, his numbers are pretty interesting though. Thanks for the heads up!
July 15, 2009
Votes: +0

Wayne Gretzky said:

Gretz99
... Thanks Angus. I'm actually trying to decide between drafting Corrente or Cameron Gaunce (both quality PIM guys who can produce pts). What is your assesment on the 2? Corrente is obviously closer but who is the better option long term. Thanks.
July 09, 2009
Votes: +0

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... Yea, I meant the last pick of the first. Brain cramp!

Ahonen... what could have been!
July 08, 2009
Votes: +0

Justin Goldman said:

GoalieGuild
... Pure gold Angus, thanks! I'm not in any keeper leagues but still extremely useful. And well said guys re: Ahonen. LOL
July 08, 2009
Votes: +0

Ollie N said:

blindside
... one correction - Corrente was drafted with the last pick of the 1st round, not the latest overall pick. Great article though, and a good choice. As a Devils fans i am looking forward to seeing Corrente on the blueline for the next few years laying players out!
July 08, 2009
Votes: -1

Eric Daoust said:

ericdaoust
... Yeah Ahonen got a raw deal. I always felt he would get traded for something more helpful to the Devils roster. That never happened, then he lost motivation and left. Nice article though about Corrente. He should slowly work his way into deep leagues.
July 08, 2009
Votes: +0

Puckhead said:

Puckhead
... Even Ahonen may have turned into an NHLer had he been drafted to a different team, you know, at team that actually needs a goaltending pipeline...?
July 08, 2009
Votes: +1
You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.

busy