Eric Cornel THW Close-Up:
Date of birth: 4/11/1996
Place of birth: Kemptville, ON, CAN
Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 185 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2014
THW The Next Ones Rankings (January 2014): 25
THW War Room Rankings (April): 27
Craig Button: 40
The one player that doesn’t get talked about often is Eric Cornel, center for the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League. He started his OHL career behind the 8-ball with 16 points in 63 games. But what a difference a year makes.
Cornel has grown into a tremendous playmaking center this season and finished the year with 25 goals and 37 assists. He’s become one of the best set-up men the OHL has to offer this season and benefits from thinking the game at a high level. He threads passes perfectly, be it forehand or backhand. He started bulking up after having a difficult time with the physical aspects in his rookie season and it did wonders for him and his confidence.
Standing 6’2″, Cornel is a great puck possession player and can keep his body between the puck and the defender much easier with the added weight. The height usually plays a role in skating, but Cornel’s ability to move up and down the ice is free-flowing and comes easy to him.
He can also play the game well in all three zones. Without the puck, Cornel positions himself well to be able to transition from defense to offense seamlessly. He’s still a couple years away from the NHL, but he’ll be a solid two-way forward when he gains more weight.
Where Will He End Up In June:
Cornel could be a very late 1st rounder, but I’d bet he gets taken between picks #34 and #46.
“Cornel is a big rangy centre who skates well with strong balance, a powerful stride and good overall mobility. He is not afraid to use his size to push his way into scoring areas as well as protect the puck. The two-way playmaking centre has strong hands and a rocket shot. (November 2013)“
Aaron Vickers – Future Considerations
“As the 3rd overall pick in 2012 (OHL Draft), Cornel struggled mightily last year with the physicality of the OHL game. It was obvious that he had bulked up this year and was much more effective, improving his point total by almost 50. Cornel can play both center or wing, but is better suited as a winger, which is what he plays on the Ritchie/Garlent line. He has good size and is a terrific playmaker. He sees the ice well and is a very smart player in the offensive zone. He moves very well without the puck and is able to consistently find holes in the defense. His play without the puck greatly improved over the course of the year and we even saw a bit of sandpaper to his game by season’s end. Adding size, strength and a consistent intensity level without the puck will be the key to his development going forward.“
Brock Otten – OHL Prospects
“In his OHL draft year, Eric Cornel was a highly sought after asset from the Upper Canada Cyclones and the Petes invested into that notion by selecting him with the 3rd Overall Pick. Fast forward a season and to be frank, there are a lot of question marks heading into Year 2. The right-shot center has good size at 6-foot-2 but really struggled with the physical side of the game as his 175-pound frame really limited his impact last year. A native of Kemptville, Ont., Cornel has excellent vision and is a very adept playmaker – an impressive combination when you factor in his size. He has the ability to make those around him better and plays a polished game for a young player. The first half will really dictate what Cornel’s sophomore season has in store for him, making it important for him to have a quick start and help the Petes make their way back to respectability.”
Cornel has played for Team Canada twice. He has four goals and eight assists in 11 games.
Risk: 1/5 Reward: 4/5
2nd line playmaking center/wing with a great two-way game
Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:
Adding more weight to his body
Fantasy Hockey Potential:
Offensive: 6/10 Defensive: 5/10
NHL Player Comparison:
– NHL comparison: Nick Bonino
THW’s The Next Ones prospect profile template design architect: Chris Ralph