Lowry developing all-around skills at Cornell

By Richard Murray

Joel Lowry - Cornell University

Photo: Cornell forward and Los Angeles Kings prospect Joel Lowry is the son of former NHL player Dave Lowry and brother of Winnipeg Jets prospect Adam Lowry (courtesy of Patrick Shanahan/Cornell Athletic Communications)

Despite not having the WHL option as a 17-year-old, Joel Lowry has come into his own at Cornell since being drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in 2011.

“I was more of a late developer so college was the better route for me over juniors,” Lowry said.  “I didn’t really have the WHL option when I was 17-years-old. It just took me a little bit to get my feet wet.”

Lowry had a successful freshman campaign with the Big Red, putting up 22 points in 35 games, and so far as a sophomore he is close to the same pace with 22 points in 30 games. This season he has a career high of 12 goals. 

“I am just trying to keep things simple, and I want to keep playing well together with my linemates,” Lowry said. “I’m working on getting to the net and trying to score some more goals in the dirty areas.”

The rugged forward stands at 6'3”, so his size has become an important part of his game. Playing physical and being strong on the puck is something that comes natural to him.

“He has a great ability to turn and get away from people,” Cornell coach Mike Schafer said. “He can really confine the puck, and that is what can really make him special on the offensive end.”

Lowry has spent most of this season on the third line. On the unit, Lowry is relied upon to not only bring a physical game to create energy but he is also an important part of the Cornell offensive attack.

“We try to get contributions from all three lines, so I am definitely trying to contribute on the offensive side of the puck.” Lowry said. “As the third line, though, we have to be reliable on the defensive side because we don’t want to give up too many chances. We are also trying to bring some energy to the team by playing physical.”

Lowry has developed strong play in all three zones, so he has gotten a lot of recognition from coach Schafer. Cornell uses Lowry in all situations without any hesitation because he has done nothing but improve since joining the Big Red in 2011.

“He just continues to get better and better all the time,” Schaefer said.

“He is one of the best forwards in [ECAC] because of the way he competes, and he is also very physical. He can do it all, power play, penalty kill, even strength. He has the whole game. He is not only getting stronger but he is also maturing and that is reflecting in his play.”

The Calgary native has also become an important piece to the puzzle of the Cornell power play. Lowry is able to use his size to get to the net often, and he can often be used to set a screen to disrupt the opposing goalies. Lowry is also able to use his playmaking skills in the offensive zone to set up open players for scoring chances.

“I am up top in the umbrella trying to move pucks quick, and I am trying to get pucks to the net to find guys open,” Lowry said. “I also try to crash the net when I can to battle for loose pucks.”

Since he was drafted 140th overall by the Kings in 2011, Lowry has spent two summers with Los Angeles at its development camp. Like many other prospects, Lowry has been able to use what he has learned at these camps to help him at the collegiate level while he prepares for the professional game.

“I have learned a lot of individual skills at the camps,” Lowry said. “You have to focus on the details if you want to make it. They have worked a lot with me on my board play, and also trying to be strong on the puck.”

Participating in the Kings camps the past two summers has also given Lowry the chance to play against other prospects that Los Angeles has playing at the collegiate level.  Lowry enjoyed a trip out to Denver earlier this season because he got to face-off against Nick Shore, who is also Kings property.

“This year we played at Denver and Nick Shore plays for them,” Lowry said. “It was a really fun competition to be able to play against him. I had a lot of fun doing it.”

When Lowry will leave college to join the professional level is still unknown, but if and when that happens, he could be a force in the offensive end with his size.

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