Corey Locke (MTL), C, Hamilton
Two-time OHL MVP is making a surprisingly smooth transition to the pros, answering critics who felt his lack of size and elite speed would hinder him at the next level. Logging impressive minutes, Locke sees time on the power play and, more notably, is used late in games, displaying good intelligence on both sides of the puck. He is also developing strong chemistry with Chris Higgins, particularly on the power play as both players not only move the puck smartly, but have an innate ability to read and anticipate their linemates. Currently tied for fifth in the league in rookie scoring, Locke made a statement on his first AHL marker, a laser that blew over the shoulder of veteran Manitoba goalie Wade Flaherty from the faceoff circle.
I for one see Corey being in a Habs jersey in a few years. His doing so well at the AHL level doesn't surprise me in the least. After watching him play for Brian Kilray, I could see he was a really well coached and very determined. If he keeps developing the way I think he will, he will be in the top 10 in scoring in the AHL in a couple of years, maybe next.