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AHL MVP looks to Martin St. Louis as inspiration to make the NHL

Oct 21, 2012, 11:00 PM EDT

Cory Conacher

If you were to see Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Cory Conacher up close, you’d probably look right past him.

Generously listed at 5’8″ and 180 pounds he doesn’t stand out physically with their AHL affiliate Syracuse Crunch. On the ice, however, he’s the defending AHL MVP after scoring 39 goals with 41 assists for the Calder Cup-winning Norfolk Admirals.

With big talent and small stature as well as hailing from a small college program at Canisius, he’s got someone in Tampa Bay to emulate in Martin St. Louis. Like Conacher, St. Louis went undrafted and put up big numbers in college at the University of Vermont and Conacher is more than flattered by comparisons.

“There’s people out there that kind of relate me to St. Louis,” Conacher says. “But I’ve still got a long way to go. He was my mentor going into camp last year and he taught me a lot.”

“It’s a huge compliment to me to be considered even in the same range as him. Hopefully one of these days I can play alongside him in a regular season game. Obviously the lockout has to end and if that happens that’d be a dream come true. I look up to a guy like him.”

With the lockout in full effect, Conacher is finding himself up against NHL-level defenseman and through the Crunch’s first four games, he’s still piling up points. Conacher is enjoying the challenge.

“It gives you a bit of confidence when that happens. It’s not just me, it’s my awesome, awesome linemates (Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat) that we have. We had chemistry last year and it came back pretty quick so far this year.”

If he can keep scoring goals and defend his MVP award, he’ll have the Lightning front office hoping he can keep being “awesome” at the NHL level.

  1. husky2score - Oct 22, 2012 at 6:16 AM

    Best article in the last 2-3 weeks.

  2. capsfan19 - Oct 22, 2012 at 6:58 AM

    Really was. Ha why cant we have more articles about prospects in the various minor leagues? I get so caughts with caps depth its nice to hear about some of the other young bucks coming up

  3. lsxphotog - Oct 22, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    Yeah, this is a great article for sure. Cory is certainly hindered by his size – making him a gamble to play at NHL level. His talent is definitely there, but players like Chara aren’t in the AHL…so skating up to someone over a foot taller with considerably more experience will have to be something he takes in stride. Hopefully he will get some ice time this year…if there is a season.

  4. ibieiniid - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    I’d love to see more AHL stories on NBC ST. Got to watch ‘Conny’ all last year in Norfolk. He’s electric. The AHL’ers as a whole are out there playing their asses of this year because they know they’re filling somebody’s hockey-hole….. wait…..

    But how about a story on how the Admirals are still on that reg season winning streak despite having an entirely new affiliation? 32 straight games going back to last season.

    • ibieiniid - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:54 PM


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