Although Colorado Avalanche prospect Cody Corbett doesn't have anywhere near the same pedigree that Nathan MacKinnon had coming out of junior hockey a year ago, he has one more thing in common with the budding Avalanche star than he had yesterday. Corbett, like MacKinnon last year, will have a chance to play for the most prestigious trophy in all of junior hockey, the Memorial Cup.
Granted, while MacKinnon and the Halifax Mooseheads were playing at this time last year it was not yet officially known that MacKinnon would be joining the Avalanche, as opposed to Corbett who is already in Colorado's developmental system as an undrafted free agent who later signed with the Avalanche. What was known at last year's Memorial Cup tournament was that each of the top three undrafted junior prospects were there, and Colorado was in possession of the first overall selection. So even though no one knew for sure who the Avalanche would take, everyone knew that whoever that player was, he was participating in the tournament.
Now it is defenseman Cody Corbett's turn to try to win the biggest prize in junior hockey. In fact, this is Corbett's second appearance in the tournament, but his first since being on Colorado's radar. For anyone who doesn't know or doesn't remember, there are three major junior hockey leagues in Canada, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and the Western Hockey League (WHL). Every year, the champion from each league comes together with a fourth team that hosts the tournament, and the four teams play for the Memorial Cup, awarded to the champion of all Canadian junior hockey. Nathan MacKinnon was a part of the QMJHL Halifax Mooseheads team that won the Memorial Cup last year, and now Cody Corbett and his WHL Champion Edmonton Oil Kings will have their opportunity to win the Memorial Cup this year.
With all three junior leagues combined, there is a total of 60 junior hockey teams. Winning the Memorial Cup is, as some might say, kind of a big deal. Cody Corbett could make this the second year in a row that a Memorial Cup Champion joins the Colorado Avalanche.
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