Cowick agrees to deal with Rangers

DON BRENNAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 6:31 AM ET

While the 67's were holding their annual year-end team banquet at the Civic Centre last night, Corey Cowick was munching on Air Canada pretzels 35,000 feet above ground.

Smiling all the while, no doubt.

Cowick, who busted out of a late-season scoring funk to produce seven goals in Ottawa's seven-game playoff elimination at the hands of the Niagara IceDogs, was signed yesterday to an amateur tryout by the New York Rangers.

The big left winger will join their AHL affilate, the Hartford Wolf Pack, for tonight's game in Providence.

The contract expires at the end of the season as Cowick, who turned 20 in January, will be available in this June's NHL draft.

"Obviously, I was really, really shocked, really proud and excited," the Gloucester native said of receiving the offer from the Rangers, a team he did not realize had interest in him. "I was going to take a couple of weeks off, meet with my agent and see what was going on.

"We had to push up the meeting a little."

In Providence, Cowick will run into 67's goalie Adam Courchaine, who is under contract to the Bruins and is also headed to the AHL. Courchaine is unlikely to see action with the Baby B's, who are backstopped by highly touted prospect Tuukka Rask.

Logan Couture, the outgoing 67's captain, will leave for San Jose's farm team in Worcester this morning.

Cowick, a third-liner with the Oshawa Generals at this time last year, was acquired in a shrewd trade by 67's GM Brian Kilrea over the summer.

Kilrea immediately decided to play him with Couture, and Cowick mostly flourished in the role. He finished the season with 34 goals and 26 assists, but struggled to put the puck in the net as the schedule wound down.

At 6-foot-2, 195 lbs., Cowick plays a strong physical game. Attesting to that would be Alex Pietrangelo, whose team ended the 67's playoff hopes Tuesday.

"I know I won't be playing every power play and killing penalties like I was doing here," said Cowick. "But I'm going to appreciate every shift I get and play it like it's my last.

"I'm not only trying out for the New York Rangers, but it's like I'm also trying out for every team in the NHL and the AHL."

"That doesn't take him out of the (NHL) draft, so Doug Wilson will still have a chance to draft (Cowick)," joked Kilrea at the club's closing banquet.

Wilson has drafted a number of 67's as GM of the Sharks, including Couture, who will be joining a team that's fighting to claim a playoff spot in Worcester.

"They said in the second part of the season they really liked the way I played and progressed," said Couture, who had a team-leading 87 points during the campaign and three goals and seven assists in the playoffs. "I'm looking forward to playing my first pro game."

And easing the pain of Tuesday's loss.

"Ending my junior career in overtime, the way we did, is probably something I'll never forget," said Couture, who was named the 67's MVP last night. "It hurts a lot, still."

Overage forward Thomas Kiriakou, meanwhile, will go to Philadelphia to join the Flyers' AHL farm team.

DON.BRENNAN@SUNMEDIA.CA


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