So, You’re An All-Star

Phil Cornet was a depth draft selection in 2008, turned pro in 2010 and posted what can only be described as a "pedestrian" AHL rookie season at age 20. Today he’s an AHL all-star and a candidate for future NHL employment, Why all the fuss? Goals.

Phil Cornet was no screaming hell exiting junior. Edmonton drafted him 133rd overall, where even on draft day prospects are suspects. His draft day scouting report offered some hope but identified some flaws:

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  • "He’s probablly the hardest working guy out there and he’s a fun guy to watch on the ice. Probably needs to work a little more on his finish." — E.J. Mcguire of NHL Central Scouting

Cornet finished off his junior career by improving his boxcar numbers and earned a pro contract for the Edmonton Oilers. As a 20-year old rookie, he got lost in the OKC fog, losing ground to Euro wingers Linus Omark and Teemu Hartikainen and ending up his first pro season with just 7 goals in 60 games. Oiler fans are familiar with failed AHL prospects, hell they’ve been sending first rounders there to die for a couple of decades now.

However, Phil Cornet may be an exception. How?

  • Coach 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."
  • Phil Cornet: “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."

Cornet must be an exceptional learner because his scoring rate this season is out of this world. He has 16 goals in 28 games this season and was named to the AHL All-Star team today. His goals total is tied for fourth overall and he was first  in the entire league before an injury sidelined him.

Cornet is back, scoring goals and posting crooked numbers. Phil Cornet was drafted deep in the 2008 entry draft and had the look of an AHL tweener until this season. Is this a legit step forward?

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There appears to be a little of the wild west in Oklahoma City’s AHL team. Huge scoring seasons a year ago from Colin Mcdonald (42) and Alex Giroux (32) are being followed up by Cornet (he’s added another goal–his 17th–as I write this). The difference is that McDonald and Giroux were older players and Cornet won’t be 22 until March.

The Oilers have never mentioned him as a top drawer prospect because he hasn’t been one. This scoring rampage must have caught their attention, though. Phil Cornet is on pace for 40 this season. 21-year olds who score 40 in the AHL are prospects, folks. No matter the pedigree.

  • Another goal and an assist so far tonight too! It must be damn rewarding to be an allstar in a very league at that age, especially given his draft position. It would be amazing if he can get something done at the next level.

    Barons have 4(!) defenders on PTO contracts for this game! The other two are AHL only. Crazy.

  • Wanyes bastard child

    I remember seeing him a couple years back in the pre season and thought to myself this guys going to be good. The Oilers never seemed to high on him, but he seems to be on their radar now. Good for him! It sure would be nice to add another scorer to the arsenal. Can never have to many of them.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    great story.

    Even if he never makes it past a couple good strong cups of coffee, this is a great story. Sounds like the kid is fighting for his TOI. Glad to see and glad to see him get rewarded for it.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Hopefully he can turn into a solid middle 6 forward that can consistantly give you close to 20.

    If the defense and goaltending ever get figured, it’s guys like that that will push the forward group over the top.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    The Oilers should reward this kid and bring him up for a couple weeks. Maybe he gets even better with eagles flying around him rather than the turkeys down there. At 6′ and 180, he’s not a full flegded smurf.

    Good for Phileppe. Effort made to come across a little on the corny side.

    Can we go back to talking about trading Gagne and Hemsky please….

      • Quicksilver ballet

        It takes alot of effort to come across as uninformed as i do, it ain’t easy being me. I was trying to be the 1000th member to improperly spell Gagners name.

        Every article released on ON should contain atleast one Hemsky/Gagner trade proposal.

        • Wax Man Riley

          Lol! What item would be complete without a Gagne misspell or a Hemsky proposal?

          I have to say Quicks, you are one of my favorite commenters on here. You stick to your guns, throw out some funny stuff, and never get offended when people disagree with you, even when they are being jerks.

    • Stocc

      That is still a small NHL player. At his age he’ll remain close to that, which is fine if he wants to pay the price to stay in the bigs.

      At some point, the Oilers will have to have a kamikaze crew of undersized players, or deal players like Cornet while they are producing and have some cache, or get Bruin’d when they finally see the playoffs.

      As long as the NHL puts the refs on a whistle-less mandate in the playoffs, players with an edge will be the most valuable, as opposed to skilled players. Been that way for years.

      And Moneypuck – you forgot the apostrophe – Gagner’s, so you remain in the league of Gagner misspellers.

    • I tried it at home

      Actually, with the garbage season that Gagne’s (Not Sam) having, maybe an Ales for Simon trade might work for both sides.

      Both have had some issues with injury and both are currently under performing compared to past seasons.

      Could ST and DL mend a fence and give a couple talented guys fresh starts?

      • justDOit

        Simon has another year at $2.5M left on his contract and he’s getting $4.5 this year. For a struggling, oft-injured (even more than Hemsky) 31 year old , that’s quite a risk. Hemmer’s only 28, and should be much more valuable than Gagne.

        They (and by ‘they’ I mean Eklund) say that Detroit, Pitts and one other team is highly interested in Hemsky. The asking price is purportedly a 1st and a prospect – same as Penner.

        The Oilers will suffer in the short term, but I like it when MBS gets more 1st rounders to work with! And maybe someone like Corne (let me be the first to misspell his name) can fill in for Hemmer and show/learn his stuff?

    • Hey man check out your information……..the Barons are top tier in the AHL that hardly counts for “flying with the turkeys”!

      The Oilers are near bottom of the league, that hardly counts for ” flying with the eagles”!

      We have no player on the Oilers roster named ” Gagne”!

      Just some facts for you.

  • Stocc

    Okay Ready Everyone:

    *Tambo needs to get Hemmer signed and or traded right away. Either we lose him to unrestricted free agency this summer or when Da Boys (RNH – Hall – EBZ) get to be in their mid twenties.. Hemmer will be an old goat. Besides he dont look like he is the same guy anymore.

    *Sammy Gags also needs to go.

    Okay.. I have the answer. Lets trade Gags and Hemmer to Philadelphia for Simmonds and Brayden Schenn. We will also send a Strawberry Cheesecake for that weirdo goaltender they overspent for this summer. Ilya Bryzgalov.

    P.S. Paul Holmgren is an Idiot anyways.. so lets snag this deal while this moron is still the G.M.

    • Truth

      How about Hemsky/Gagner + Marincin/Gernat/(any prospect D)+ maybe a pick for Fowler from the Ducks.

      Now that it seems the Ducks are open for business would this be an option? Can’t imagine them wanting to get rid of a potential stud defenseman, but they could bite on the idea of either Hemsky resigning or Gagner’s potential plus a decent prospect d man to re-stock the depth.

  • I tried it at home

    Lowetide, great article, well written, entertaining and informative. Unfortuneately, the whole time I kept thinking “Reddox 2.0”. Ol’ Liam was a hard working, honest as they come, feel good kinda guy too. As long as you werent thinking ‘playoffs someday’ you’d feel good anyway. But hey, lets hope that Mssr Cornet ends up SIUTBSOHC’ing all over us, and I will be the first in line to be told so.

  • Oilerbill

    Awesome to hear about a kid that has earned his accolades. The thing about smart hard working players is even if they don’t score at a regular pace in the NHL. They are the type of players that can adapt their game to being solid contributors in other aspects and make a very good living in the NHL for a long time. With continued hard work I hope he gets everything he earns.

  • bazmagoo

    One thing that seems to be getting lost in the panic that most Oiler fans seem to be feeling these days is the development of the AHL franchise. First in the league by 6 points currently (albeit with 2 more games than our closest rivals). Last season we finished 15th in the league.

    Obviously this isn’t the result most Oilers fans want from this season, I’m sure most of us would swap places with the NHL’s elite teams if we could. However it’s another positive step the organization has taken this year and I’m surprised it hasn’t been noticed more.

    It’s nice to see a few of the players rewarded with an all-star appearance.

      • I hope you arent trying to suggest that an NHL defense that has played 5 guys who have never even reached the playing equivalent of a full season has negatively affected the outcome of games?

        Because that is preposterous, sir. The GM, who deserves nothing but respect and blind admiration, has said that he doesnt want another lottery pick. This was evident when he gathered this group of defenders, futures so bright and ability so assured.

        • bazmagoo

          Haha. I think most of us were able to recognize that the playoffs were out of the reach of the Oil with this defence right from the get go. It is a shame we were lied too, but I’m still super positive about the future.