If you thought that the Leafs had a lot of defencemen already, the situation just got a little bit more confusing, as the blue and white laid claim to Vancouver Canucks defenceman Frank Corrado on waivers this afternoon.
Corrado is a local talent; born in the GTA and developed in the Vaughan Kings minor hockey program. He split his junior hockey career between the Sudbury Wolves and Kitchener Rangers, and was drafted 150th overall by the Canucks in 2011.
Since then Corrado has spent most of his time in the AHL, playing for Canucks affiliates Chicago and Utica, but he’s also joined the big club for 28 regular season and four playoff games since 2012/13.
This is a very smart claim by the Leafs, who were ranked fourth on the waiver priority list. On top of being that ever-so-desirable right-handed shot from the point, Corrado is very patient with the puck and has strong speed, which meshes with the evolution of the Leafs’ defensive corps over the past few years.
When we did our prospect ranked over at Canucks Army (suddenly, writing for two Nation Network sites gets awkward..) we had Corrado as Vancouver’s 6th-best prospect. To learn more about him, check out this nifty little prospect profile written by yours truly.
The Leafs will likely be looking to cut another defenceman in the upcoming hours, let alone days; Scott Harrington’s waiver-exempt status means that a paper transaction option is there, if they don’t send him down entirely.
Continuing the subject of waivers, the Leafs have placed Richard Panik on the wire. Originally claimed from the Tampa Bay Lightning last season, the 24-year-old winger scored eleven goals and added six assists over 76 games last year. He appeared to produce decently enough for the minutes that he played and wasn’t a liability on the ice. However, he was unlikely to get many minutes this season.
If the Leafs lose him, it’ll be a bit of a shame, but when you consider that he was a free asset to begin with, it’s also not something to cry yourself to sleep over. If he clears, the Toronto Marlies get that much better, particularly when you consider that TJ Brennan, Byron Froese, Sam Carrick, Matt Frattin, and Andrew Campbell all cleared waivers this morning.