Saturday, September 8, 2012

Jets All Out Top 25 II: #25 Patrice Cormier

Patrice Cormier finally finished a full pro season in 2011-12.
(Photo Courtesy Getty Images)
Patrice Cormier, 22, C, 6'2, 205 lbs 
Last Year's Ranking: #19
This Year's Ranking: #25
Difference: -6

Don't get me wrong, I like Patrice Cormier.  

He has grit, size, motivation, and an underlying sense of how to play both ends of the rink. 

But his 2012-13 season was not impressive at all to say the least - at least not for a former second round draft pick.

Now before I get jumped on, let me acknowledge that even Cormier was happy that he was being shipped up and down between the NHL and AHL.  

And that he was fine with playing in the minors.

Why?

Because he finally played a season where he was mostly healthy all year long.

Cormier tallied 33 points (18 goals, 15 assists) in his 56 games in St. John's and spent nine games in a Jets uniform when the NHL club needed to fill its roster due to injuries.

In a Jets uniform, Cormier turned to play more responsibly and smartly than I thought he would for having yet another season of being bounced between the NHL and the AHL.

For Cormier, a full year in St. John's should have been the order of the day, but due to injuries, the Jets could not afford to keep him down there when they needed players.

His grit is something the Jets desperately need and they were and are not getting it in spades from the likes of Chris Thorburn or Tanner Glass, who is now gone.

Cormier's chance of making the Jets in 2012-13 will be dependent on his defensive game because the Jets are not looking at plugging the 22 year old into the top two lines, but into the bottom two as a checking forward who may pot 5-10 goals a year.

Far be it for me to suggest Cormier could be the Jets future scrapper (at least he would be a little more productive than a Thorburn offensively too), but Cormier looks like the perfect candidate there and if he has his act cleaned up which looked like it was this season, he may have an outside chance at a job.

If not, a full year in the AHL wouldn't hurt his chances the year after with Thorburn in a contract year.

Either way, a healthy Cormier is a good thing for the Jets because a young scrapper can always win a spot if the old dog can't do the job anymore.

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