April 22 2013 09:56AM
Image uncredited via FrankieCorrado.blogspot.com
Following Chicago's elimination from Calder Cup playoff contention, the Canucks have called up Frank Corrado, according to Chicago Wolves General Manager Wendell Young and theAHL.com's transaction page. The team hasn't announced the move with a media release yet, but hell, it's early on Monday morning and we can be pretty confident that'll come later in the day.
Frank Corrado has had a bit of a whirlwind season. The young two-way defenceman nearly made the Canadian world junior championship team in December, he was the only Canucks major junior player who was invited to training camp this past January, and he was traded from the Sudbury Wolves team he captained to the Kitchener Rangers in midseason. Through it all, his stock as a prospect has risen appreciably and it wouldn't be a surprise if he made his NHL debut at some point this week.
Read past the jump.
Frank Corrado only turned twenty a month ago, so unsurprisingly he remains a bit undersized for a defenceman at the NHL level. But he can move the puck, he routinely demonstrates a mature understanding of the defensive side of the game, and he's usually pretty eager to mix it up. Think Chris Tanev, but with Kevin Bieksa's game face.
Now my comparing Corrado to a hybrid of Kevin Bieksa and Chris Tanev probably doesn't help matters in this respect, but we do need to keep expectations for the young defenceman in check. After all, I think it's very unlikely that Frank Corrado will be able to contribute in a meaningful way for the Canucks this season, though he does ultimately look like a guy who will be a player at some point. Maybe even some point soon.
Because Corrado turned twenty in March, he's still on a sliding entry-level contract (ELC). That means his ELC won't "start" this season unless he appears in more than five games with the Canucks. Prudent asset management would dictate, then, that Corrado won't appear in that many contests for the Canucks this season no matter what. That said, in the unlikely event that Corrado looks to be "ready" to help the Canucks legitimately win games even in a third-pairing role, and Bieksa and Tanev aren't able to get back into the lineup for the postseason, then what, are you going to hurt your team's playoff chances so that Corrado will still be on an entry-level deal when the Sedins turn 36? Please.
Most importantly for Corrado is that he's got a right-handed shot. So if he dresses for the Canucks in one of their final three games this season, it's likely he'd be the only righty pointman in the lineup. That alone should probably get Corrado a serious look over the balance of the regular season, though Corrado has also done enough this past year to have earned it for reasons beyond his handedness.