Skip to main content

Corey Locke



Corey Locke was a scoring dynamo in junior hockey and the minor leagues. But the only numbers NHL coaches seemed to notice was his size: five-foot-nine. As a result he only played in a total of nine NHL games, and he never got a chance to show what he really could do.

Locke was a superstar scorer with the Ottawa 67s. In three seasons in the OHL he scored 132 goals and 180 assists in 186 games. In his last two seasons he led the entire OHL in goals and points, and won back-to-back Red Tilson Trophy as the league's most outstanding player. He was also named as the top junior player in all of Canada in 2003.

Despite his obvious ability to create offense, he was not drafted until the fourth round, 113th overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens. He was lauded for his playmaking ability and his power play prowess, but he was too just too small.

Locke would go onto dominate at the AHL level. He would become a two time Calder Cup champion and winner of the AHL MVP award.

He really began to emerge in the spring of 2007. He led the AHL playoffs with 10 goals as he helped Hamilton win the Calder Cup championship. He would move on through the AHL to be a better than a point-per-game player, and by 2011 be named as the AHL's Most Valuable Player.

But his size, and a bad rap for spotty defensive play, all but kept him out of the National Hockey League. He would only play one game with Montreal. He moved onto play three games with the New York Rangers and five more with the Ottawa Senators.

He played one more injury plagued year in the minors before extending his career in Europe.

Brian Kilrea, the legendary Ottawa 67s coach, summed up Locke's career nicely.

"In the National Hockey League, unless you’re on the first line, they expect everyone to go out and finish their check. Corey’s the offensive talent. He didn’t really have to go out and finish his checks [in junior]. He had to worry about avoiding someone finishing their check. It got to be where [NHL] teams [were] looking for the stereotype player. They’re always looking for someone that goes up and down the ice and finishes their check hard."

"I feel sorry for him. Every year … he’s gone out there and put up numbers. Next thing you know you’re taking a look around and somebody else on your team has gone up [to the NHL] and stayed. That’s when it gets a little discouraging, I’m sure."

"He’s gifted offensively," Kilrea said, "so give him something to work with and see if he can produce at [the NHL] level. Don’t say, ‘Here’s a checking line.’"

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M