I had the opportunity to exchange a few messages over Twitter with Canucks prospect Frank Corrado the other day. How did that come about? I'll admit, I personally wanted to get to know more about him. But I also wanted to give Canucks fans the chance to do so as well.
Corrado is coming off of a whirlwind season, to say the least. After signing an entry level deal with the Canucks, he impressed in preseason action, most notably against the Edmonton Oilers. He took his game to another level playing for the Sudbury Wolves in the OHL, eventually being recognized for it with his nomination for best OHL defenseman. He wound up capping off his season with a short stint with the Chicago Wolves, including a few playoff appearances.
From talking to scouts and others who have interacted with him in the past, I got nothing but rave reviews about his personality, and the way he goes about his business. It's safe to say that everything I heard was true.
Frank Corrado: It was an incredible feeling. I can't describe what it means to know that an NHL team thinks that highly of you to select you.
Did you model your game after a certain defenseman growing up, and who would you compare your game to? From watching some of your tape, you remind me of a Kevin Bieksa-type.
I really like the way Dan Boyle plays. I remember watching him when Tampa Bay won the Cup, and liked the way in which he moved the puck and played the defensive position.
Seems to me like you have no issue with dropping the mitts, especially when it comes to standing up for a teammate. But I've got to ask you, what was going through your head when you fought Jarred Tinordi?
I'm by no means a fighter, but when it comes to protecting a teammate I don't hesitate to drop 'em. Tinordi was a tough fight. You don't win them all, but sometimes just stepping up and doing something like that helps bring guys together.
I hear that you fancy yourself as the team DJ. What are some of your favourites right now, and which route do you usually go with your song choices?
I'm the DJ because I like everything from rock, to country, to hip hop. So I have a lot of variety. Right now it's the summer, so country is what's mostly playing in my car.
Judging from the path you have taken in the past year, this must have been quite the journey for you. You went from a 5th round draft pick, to a nominee for OHL defenseman of the year. What changed for you?
I learned so much from just coming to NHL camp and being in Vancouver. I brought all that back to junior, and applied it. It helped both my team, and myself, a lot.
I hear that you're a guy who likes to talk while on the ice. You know that you'll likely eventually come up to a team filled with legendary chirpers. Do you hear something about a player, and store it for ammunition later? Or is your strategy more general-based, to get yourself going?
I'm honestly not a big chirper, but when you're in the game, you get emotional and say things. It's all about channeling your energy in a positive way.
We talked about how you were in Canucks camp this past preseason. What did you learn there, that you'll be able to use in the coming years?
You learn so much when you're with the pros, but the biggest thing is the preparation that they put in. These guys prepare for games and practices very seriously and it shows. When you're there you have no choice but to go about it in the same way.
What will you be focusing on this summer, to improve your game? Anything in specific?
The goal like every summer is to get bigger, faster, and stronger. I will put the emphasis on working on my shot, and getting it off more effectively as well.
Okay, Kanye. You must have clicked right away with certain guys when you got to Chicago. Any of the guys take you under their wing, and show you around?
Everyone was really nice and genuine. Guys like Baumer (Nolan Baumgartner) and Nauts (Kevin Connauton), who I knew from camp, were really great in helping me get comfortable with the situation.
Have you had a chance to check out FrankieCorrado.blogspot.com? You seem to have a really devoted fan, there.
Yes, I have. It's nice to see there I already have fans, and it's a neat little blog.
You wear number 22. I hear some guy on the Canucks already uses that number. Do you have another number you fancy, or do you just plan to steal it from him?
I have worn number 22 since I was 10 years old, but I'd be more than happy to give it up to play with the big club. If I had to choose another number, it'd be between numbers 58 and 4.
You'll fit in tremendously with your complete disregard for the current number 4 on the Canucks. Hah, I'm just messing with you. I'll let you go with this question: do you have any information regarding @strombone1 for Canucks fans? Do you think it's Roberto?
I'm not sure, but whoever it is, his tweets are absolute genius.
Frank, it was a pleasure talking to you. Good luck with your summer program, and we'll catch up in the fall. Canucks fans, enjoy this beauty: