Summer Sleeper Series – Matthew Corrente

Jeff Angus

2009-07-08

Corrente - courtesy of LowellDevilsHockey.com

 

Every Wednesday this summer, I will bring you a sleeper to watch for the 2009-2010 season (and potentially beyond). Released in no particular order, I will refrain from picking sleepers that have already shown glimpse of breaking out in the past – the obvious candidates. Time to go beneath the surface for some sleepers that you may have not thought about…

 

 

My pick this week is well below the radar compared to the last two featured players (Michael Frolik and Matthew Lombardi). He is a player I have mentioned a few times in the forums, especially over the past few months. If you are on one-year leagues or shallow keeper leagues, he probably should not be on your radar for at least a year or two. But if you are like me and need these gems to push you over the top, he is the perfect sleeper pick.

Matthew Corrente was drafted with the last pick of the first round by New Jersey in the 2006 Entry Draft. He played for Saginaw, Mississauga, and Niagara over four seasons in the OHL. His best offensive campaign came in 2005-2006, where he recorded 30 points. He had an impressive 15 points in 21 games with Niagara in 2007-2008, and had five points in 10 playoff games as well. He made the jump to the professional level last season, and had a very solid season with the Lowell Devils. Corrente scored six goals, dished out 12 helpers, and racked up 161 minutes in penalties. His stats are not eye popping, but he projects very well to the NHL level. Corrente has been a PIM giant throughout his career. In 187 career OHL games, he recorded a monster 419 PIM.

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The Devils believe he is NHL ready and they are a team that takes the patient approach to prospect development. As you can see from Corrente's numbers, he is far from an offensive catalyst. However, he had some impressive numbers at the end of his OHL career, and he had a solid 18 points on a goal-starved Lowell club. There are also many examples of players surpassing their junior and AHL numbers at the NHL level. Mike Green is the most obvious example of this. Although he is far from comparable to Corrente, the point still stands.

In deep keeper leagues, 20-30 point, 150+ PIM defensemen are a valuable asset, and that is exactly where I see Corrente. He plays with a similar snarl to Kevin Bieksa in Vancouver. Corrente is not a lock to make the Devils this se