Photo By: Candace Riley © All rights reserved.
Last season, Philippe Cornet dealt with the unfortunate circumstance of being on a team stacked with high-end AHL caliber wingers. Competing with other prospects such as Teemu Hartikainen and Linus Omark, as well as veterans like Ben Ondrus and Colin McDonald, Cornet would find himself on the bottom of the depth chart for most, if not all, of the season.
Having his trip to Oklahoma City delayed by immigration issues, Philippe Cornet would arrive in time for the Barons' opening weekend. With the top wing positions filled by Omark, McDonald, Alexandre Giroux, and Liam Reddox - Cornet would find himself in the bottom six, being shuffled between lines with Ondrus, Hartikainen, Greg Stewart, and Matt Marquardt. Cornet would go through October scratched twice, and scoring two assists in 10 games.
Cornet would sit out the first three weeks of November, scratched in favor of JF Jacques during his conditioning stint, and Marquardt. After an injury to Ryan O'Marra, Hartikainen would move to a line with Omark and Reddox, and Cornet would find himself back in the line-up. Going scoreless in six games, Cornet would be scratched again until O'Marra and Omark were called up to the Edmonton Oilers. Cornet's first game back, he would get back on the scoresheet with an assist in a game against the Manitoba Moose. Playing the rest of December, Cornet would add another assist, bringing his total to four assists and a -3 for 2010.
The New Year would prove well for Cornet. After Omark's brief return to Oklahoma City, and the call-up of Reddox, Cornet would be put on a line with Hartikainen and Milan Kytnar. The "Kid Line," as it was called, would jump to a quick start. Cornet would score his first career AHL goal on January 9th, and add three more goals and an assist over the next two games. Cornet would finish off the month of January with four goals and four assists, turning in a +7 over 13 games.
The Kid Line would stick together until the Barons' trip to Calgary to take on the Abbotsford Heat, as Cornet would be bumped down in favor of AHL signee Mark Arcobello. Cornet would be scratched the next night, with Marquardt taking his spot in the line-up. Following a 5-0 loss to Houston on February 26th, the lines would be shuffled up the next night as the Barons traveled to Austin to take on the Texas Stars and Cornet would find himself back in the line-up, making the most of it by scoring a goal.
With the deadline for Clear Day rosters fast approaching, Cornet needed to impress to earn a spot on the playoff roster. He wouldn't be able to do so, going scoreless in the next two games leading up to the deadline. With the call-ups of O'Marra, Giroux, and Hartikainen, Cornet would continue to make it into the line-up. After scoring a goal and adding three assists in March, Cornet would be an integral part of helping the Barons reach the playoffs. In the last six games of the season, Cornet would score a goal and add six assists, posting a +6 rating. With the Oilers season concluding, Cornet would be pushed out of the line-up and his season would come to an end.
Cornet's 23 points over 60 games is a far cry from the 0.95 PPG he averaged from his junior career, but he showed that he is able to score when he's put on the right line. With the additions of Ryan Keller, Josh Green, and possibly Curtis Hamilton - along with the return of Hartikainen and Arcobello - Cornet will probably be looking at another season of tough competition for minutes.