The Toronto Maple Leafs have claimed 22-year-old right-handed defenceman Frank Corrado off of the waiver wire.
Originally drafted in 2011 in the round 5 (#150 overall) by the Vancouver Canucks, Corrado has had some good stretches of hockey and was considered a promising blueliner since getting drafted from the Sudbury Wolves. He was bumped down the depth chart by newcomer Ben Hutton this camp, and ultimately lost his job.
Corrado is the youngest player to pass through waivers the past few days. The knock on the Woodbridge, Ontario native is that his offensive game has yet to blossom, but he has good mobility and a strong outlet pass. At 22, especially at the D position, there could still be upside here. He’s not a physical force, but he stands a 6’2, 191 pounds, so he’s got some size and range.
Corrado has managed to stay about even possession wise in his short stints in Vancouver on the big club, and managed to put up nice (albeit in a small sample) possession stats alongside popular Vancouver whipping boy Luca Sbisa.
Last season, Corrado was the only defenceman that managed to post positive possession numbers while paired with Luca Sbisa, and not just positive — he and Sbisa posted a 58.9% corsi percentage together. With the caveat that it was a small sample size, it was impressive enough that he should have been playing in the NHL.
Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.
— Frank Corrado (@frankcorrado22) October 5, 2015
He gives Babcock a second right-handed option to go along with Roman Polak. Corrado may or may not prove to be much in the way of an offensive contributor – there could definitely still be untapped potential there knowing his skillset – but he can play defense “fast” and move the puck reasonably well, which should get him some opportunities under Babcock.
Babcock says he watched lots of video on Frank Corrado yesterday. Liked what was there.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) October 6, 2015
Corrado is on a one-year deal worth just $632,500, and will become a restricted free agent at season’s end.
Most Canucks fans on Twitter seem rather upset about how the whole situation with Corrado was handled this preseason (relevant thread here).
Richard Panik Waived
To make room, the Maple Leafs have waived Richard Panik, who had a rough camp and was never really able to ‘get it going’—he admitted as much to the media and said the problems were mental. This is not new for Panik; he was waived from the Tampa Bay Lightning last year for similar reasons. He may pass through and be able to work on his craft with the now-stacked Toronto Marlies.
Panik averaged only 11:38 in ice time last season, but still managed 11 goals, ten of which were at even strength as he played only 47 seconds a night on average with the man advantage.
#Leafs place Panik on waivers. I really like the player he can become (edgy and skilled), but still needs to develop it at the NHL level.
— Michael Traikos (@Michael_Traikos) October 6, 2015
Those numbers sound reasonably good, but it came with some question marks going forward. Panik had just six assists on the season and he scored his eleven goals with a 12.6% shooting percentage, which was unlikely to be repeatable. He would have needed to get his shot rate up to produce regularly, as he averaged only 1.14 shots per game (87 shots in 76 games) last season.
The fact of the matter is that Panik hasn’t proven to be a consistent secondary scorer. Taken in combination with an uneventful preseason for him, he has been squeezed out by the numbers game.
Frank Corrado Interview
Toronto Maple Leafs 2015 Depth Chart
|James van Riemsdyk||Nazem Kadri||Joffrey Lupul||Jake Gardiner||Dion Phaneuf|
|Shawn Matthias||Tyler Bozak||Brad Boyes||Morgan Rielly||Roman Polak|
|Daniel Winnik||Peter Holland||PA Parenteau||Matt Hunwick||Martin Marincin|
|Leo Komarov||Nick Spaling||Michael Grabner||Scott Harrington||Frank Corrado|
|Mark Arcobello||Stephane Robidas (IR)|
Frank Corrado Statistics