Drew Cornick has a physical presence on the ice at six-foot-four and 190 pounds.
His size is something the 18-year-old Pasadena native plans on using to his advantage as a rookie defenceman with the Grand Falls Rapids (formerly Woodstock Slammers) of the Maritime Hockey League.
“It’s certainly gives me an advantage over everybody else. It’s something that you can’t teach,” Cornick said Wednesday afternoon from New Brunswick.
The steady stay-at-home defender, a 2017 graduate of Pasadena Academy, patrolled the blue-line for the Western Kings of the provincial major midget hockey league for the past three winters.
He was in an upbeat mood when asked how things were going as he adjusted to a new community, new teammates and a higher level of hockey.
“I’m really liking it up here,” Cornick said. “It’s a little bit like home. It’s quiet. There’s not a whole lot to do, but there’s enough stuff to do to keep you busy.”
As a newcomer, Cornick just wants to have fun playing the game he loves and help the team win games.
The best way he can help is by being tough on opposing forwards and moving the puck with authority out of his own end to ensure a smooth transition game for the Rapids.
“I have to be solid in my own end and know when to make a play and what play to make,” he said.
The three seasons of major midget hockey with the Kings taught him a thing or two about the game and himself so he hopes those experiences will prepare him for hockey at a higher level with players bigger and stronger.
He feels like he has grown up over the past few years and he’s a better person because of the time spent with the Kings. Keeping busy doing some business courses online at Memorial University when he’s not tied up with the Rapids, Cornick expects to be a better player and a better person once he gets settled into a groove with the Rapids.
“The guys are really good and I’m really excited to see what this team is going to do,” he said.
He will have some butterflies in the belly when the Rapids open the season at home Sept. 16 against the MHL defending champion Edmundston Blizzard.