Cornet Rising

Deep into Stu MacGregor’s first draft as the Oilers scouting director, the club called the name Phil Cornet. The selection took place at a point in the draft where expectations are low, but Cornet (in his second year pro) is an emerging talent in OKC. 

Cornet’s debut pro season (in OKC) saw him play a secondary role for the Barons. His boxcars (60, 7-16-23) ranked him 8th among forwards on the team. Oklahoma City had two 20-year old rookie pros at forward one year ago:

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  1. Teemu Hartikainen 66, 17-25-42
  2. Phil Cornet 60, 7-16-23

Cornet was a high scoring junior from the Q and Hartikainen has been profiled many times on this blog as a great hope from Finland. Hartikainen–although drafted one round behind Cornet–has been ranked as the better prospect all down the line owing to consistency and a wider range of skills.

Scoring goals tends to change the pecking order. This season, Cornet is emerging as a legit scoring option at the AHL level and Hartikainen is building on last season’s solid showing:

  1. Phil Cornet 4, 5-1-6
  2. Teemu Hartikainen 5, 2-2-4

It’s early, but Cornet is showing some great hands and has impressed Barons coach Todd Nelson:

  • “He’s been playing well. He plays in a lot of different situations because he’s a very smart player. I think it’s a credit to Phil. He put in a great summer getting into better shape, and you can see it’s paying off for him.”

Cornet has approached this season with an idea about how to improve:

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  • “At the start of the year, we had meetings…and one of the things that I had to do better was to crash the net and stop at the net and get those rebounds and those tap-in goals. I think the second (goal) was a great example of that.”

Cornet is tied for third in the AHL in goals this season, and if he continues to score goals things will sort themselves out. Goal scorers climb depth charts with amazing ease.Hartikainen is most certainly a better prospect at this time, but if Cornet posts an impressive goal total this season (anything north of 30) Phil Cornet’s status as a fringe NHL prospect will be a distant bell.

The Oilers might have something here.

Nation Radio hits the airwaves at noon today on Team 1260 radio. Emails welcome: [email protected] and the following guests are scheduled to appear:

  • Dan Moriarty, formerly of Cool Shots and currently with Fox Radio and Cinesport. We’ll talk about the NHL in California and about some recent advice from Bill Guerin to NBA players.
  • Terry Jones from the Edmonton Sun. The world’s latest twitter phenom will give me the lowdown on Renney’s way, the Katz arena and that Oilers blue.
  • Dean Belanger from Jets Nation. Dean was the Oilers feature writer for Hockey’s Future for a time and is now back at Jets Nation. He’s a Jet, Oiler and Expo fan so is uniquely qualified to deal with pain. We’ll discuss the return of the Jets to Winnipeg, his experience at the Pens game in Winnipeg recently and a few other Jets related items.
  • Kent Wilson from Flames Nation is back this week. We’ll discuss the gap between the Flames and Oilers (it’s still there) and the upside down look of the NW division currently.
  • Doug Sauter is an Oklahoma City legend and a great source of hockey information. We’ll talk about the Barons and some obscure WHL trivia.
  • Danny Gray from Leafs Nation. I’ll ask about the Leafs and their early success while also trying to change their fortunes using mind control.

Hope you can tune in.

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  • Neal Livingston had Cornet as his darkhorse before the season started (mine was/is Martindale) and when Neal says something about the players in OKC you should listen.. so doesn’t come as a huge surprise to me.

  • EasyOil

    LT: Always been rooting for Cornet, and noticed yesterday how well he was doing so far. Also wondered how long it would be before LT wrote an article on him :p here’s hoping that MBS has done it again. As an aside (although i’ve always lumped him in with Cornet for some reason) is there any Kytnar news re: injury yet? Always found him an interesting player too.

  • EasyOil

    Good to see monsieur Cornet (or any prospects) doing well. It may or may not translate down the road but they can always be used in trades, as possible sweeteners if nothing else.

    Interesting to see Ryan Martindale is in Stockton, as is Cameron Abney and Olivier Roy. Martindale is 3-0-1-1 -1 so far.

  • EasyOil

    I had commented during the Rookie match that Corent looked bigger, stronger, faster than I remembered. He played with focus and determination too, standing out from the other rookies with his presence. We had put it down, at the time, to being an older rookie than the others.

    Nice to see him carry that play into his second pro season. The book on him coming out of the Q was that he was a lightweight perimeter style guy with decent hands and sense. If he has doffed the perimeter play for the more involved style we saw early in TC, then we likely have a guy determined to have a career and that changes everything in my opinion.

  • Too bad Hamilton is on the outs right now. I figured they’d give him more rope down there based on Draft pedigree. Maybe he should be in Stockton if he’s going to be a healthy scratch?