Oil Kings bolster blue-line with eighth defender Corbett
Youngster brings experience from tough Minnesota high school league
By Cam Tait, Edmonton Journal
November 3, 2011
Eight is enough.
That's the philosophy of Edmonton of Edmonton Oil Kings general manager Bob Green when it comes to defencemen, which is why he added Cody Corbett to the already sturdy back end of the Oil Kings.
"We heard from his adviser that Cody wanted to play major junior hockey," Green said, adding the 17-year-old will be eligible for the 2012 NHL Draft.
"I like what I see on the ice. He has real good instincts with the puck and sees the game really well."
Corbett was enlisted by Edmonton during the summer, but returned to Stillwater, Minn., to play high school hockey for the Ponies.
"High school hockey is where it's at in Minnesota," says the six-footone Corbett, noting there are over 90 teams.
"The state championship is held in the Xcel Energy Center, where the Wild play with 18,000 people."
Corbett will continue his Grade 12 education in Sherwood Park while living with his billet family.
He also brings offensive prowess to the Oil Kings, scoring 23 points with nine goals in 24 games last year with Stillwater.
"I like to get up in the play, but I think I can be tough in my own end," he said.
Corbett arrived in Edmonton two weeks ago and practised with the Oil Kings for a week before signing with the team. He isn't scheduled to play until Saturday when Edmonton hosts the Seattle Thunderbirds at Rexall Place.
"We had a few guys sick last weekend on the road, so we put Cody in the lineup," coach Derek Laxdal said of the team's recent trip to play the Regina Pats and Brandon Wheat Kings.
"He played very well and I think he will only improve and develop."
With the addition of Corbett, the Oil Kings now have eight defencemen, but that number could very well drop to five come December.
With the world junior hockey championship in Edmonton and Calgary, Oil Kings defender Mark Pysyk could very well be playing for Team Canada.
Edmonton Oilers draft pick and Oil Kings defenceman Martin Gernat will probably be skating for his home country of Slovakia.
Another Oil Kings rookie, Mason Geertsen, will probably play for Team Pacific in the under-16 tournament in Windsor, Ont., over the Christmas break.
The Oil Kings spent the week practising and when they face the Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday they will have had a week between games.
"We have to get back on the winning track," Laxdal says of the team's back-to-back losses in Regina and Saskatoon.
"We need to get back in the winning column because everyone in our conference is winning."
The Oil Kings leave right after Saturday's game for four games in five nights in B.C. They open the trip Tuesday with their first game against the new Victoria Royals, who moved from Chilliwack during the summer where they were known as the Bruins.
The Western Hockey League awarded scholarships to 300 players on Wednesday.
WHL graduates are enrolled in 71 different post-secondary institutions throughout North America, including 28 registered at the University of Alberta.
For every season a player plays in the WHL, they receive a full year guaranteed scholarship, including tuition, textbooks and compulsory fees.
Spruce Grove Saints head coach Jason McKee has been named head coach for Team West of the CHL Prospects game Nov. 12 in Langley, B.C. McKee and the Saints are in Camrose tonight to play the Kodiaks in Alberta Junior Hockey League action.
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