Nicolas Corbeil works on his game

By Stephen J. Holodinsky

Another Brother-In-Law for Tucker?

Ask Sherbrooke Castors Coach Jos Canale about Nicolas Corbeil and the one thing that becomes readily apparent is that despite his 5’11” 172 pound size he is not in the mold of what many believe to be the ‘typical’ Q forward: All speed and finesse, little gumption when it comes to the rough stuff. His coach readily admits that his pivot “likes taking runs at guys (and) will take the odd slashing or charging call.” A belligerent player who “can let (his) emotions detract from his play”, this very quality serves him well along the boards. Canale points out that Corbeil is “very good at (this aspect of the game). (He is) persistent, tough, and quick.” In front of the net the Leaf pick, is more of a “darter who slides into empty spots well and who has to keep his feet moving” which serves him well. While his shot from the top of the circle could improve he is “very handy close in.”

That being said his coach observes that “the things that got Nicolas drafted were his skating and passing ability. Skating is definitely a strength in his game. He has a good burst to the outside which he likes to use and also has a crossover move to the inside which he uses as well.” He ability with the puck similarly draws rave reviews from Canale. “Nicolas sees the ice well and puts the puck in good places where a teammate can use it immediately.” And while his charge can go after the home run occasionally the coach states unequivocally “I feel safe that if something bad happens with one of Nick’s passes it’s not going to be a scoring chance going the other way.” Of course all the passing ability in the world is of little use if the player has to slow down to use it, but such is not the case with Corbeil who “does everything well at high speed.”

However, there is more to the game of hockey than offense. Here, believes Canale, is where his player needs work the most though don’t misinterpret this. “He has come a long way defensively since he has been here. He can mark his man and we use him on the penaltykill, but he must continue improving in this area to make the next jump in his development.” Still, the potential as an agitator shines through and when the coach of the Sherbrooke Castors looks around the NHL to compare Corbeil’s style, he doesn’t hesitate to say “Mike Peca”. If his defense catches up with his skating and passing, someone might do want to start checking out the Tucker family tree indeed.