Volume 12 Week 5

Wednesday, June 13


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Rob Jellett

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Posted Dec. 167





(Updated 10:30 a.m., Aug. 14)
Pittsburgh Penguins sign local prospect to amateur contract

By Fred Sherwin
Orleans Online

Beacon Hill resident Corey Cowick, 19, recently signed an amateur contract to try out for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Fred Sherwin/photo

It's been an eventful summer for Corey Cowick to say the least. It started out with the 19-year-old Beacon Hill resident getting traded from the Oshawa Generals to the Ottawa 67s.

He then played in the provincial Big League baseball championships in Thunder Bay where his team came within a hair of winning it all.

But it was while he was in Thunder Bay that he got a phone call that could change his life for ever. During the competition his mother left him a message to call home.

"She said it was urgent, so I called her from the car and that's when she told me that Pittsburgh had called a bunch of times so I called my agent and he said that the Penguins wanted to offer me an amateur contract," says Cowick, who was passed over by the NHL during the 2006 Entry Draft.

Now 6-foot-2 and 205 lbs., Cowick has started to draw a lot of attention. Besides the Penguins, the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs have also shown an interest in his abilities. But it was the Penguins who called him first.

"I was shocked, then I felt proud and now I just feel a little anxious. I went from playing in a provincial basball tournament to a potentially life-changing opportunity," says Cowick.

An amateur contract simply means that Pittsburgh now has first dibs on his future services should they choose to offer him a professional contract.

Cowick will leave for Pittsburgh on Sept. 9, where he will get tested and go through a battery of drills. He'll then leave for Kitchener with the rest of the Penguins prospects to attend training camp and participate in a tournament with prospects from the Senators, Leafs and Florida Panthers.

Cowick says he's ready, having worked out all summer in preparation for the 67s training camp which starts at the end of the month.

"I've been working with Peter Twist at the Twist Conditioning Cente. It's been pretty intense. I'm in better shape now than I was all season," says Cowick.

Besides working out, Cowick has been playing pick-up hockey every Sunday at the Ray Friel Complex along with several other local NHL prospects including Claude Giroux who's expected to crack the Philadelphia Flyers line-up this year; Tim Billingsley, who was drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes and Shawn Lalonde, who was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks.

"It's funny. Before the draft everyone was wearing their OHL gear and then about two weeks after the draft they all started wearing their NHL gear," says Cowick, who has yet to get any Penguins gear. "Why buy it when I can get it for free? Hopefully, I'll still be wearing it next summer."

(The story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

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