By Nick Barnowski –
The former Northern Michigan Wildcat signed a three-year entry level contract with the Detroit Red Wings back in April and is now in Traverse City for the team’s annual development camp.
Despite still recovering from off-season shoulder surgery, the 6-foot-5 goalie still made the trip to Traverse City and is participating in limited on-ice drills as well as off-ice workouts with the coaching staff and trainer Piet van Zant.
“When I drove in I felt a little bit at home,” Coreau said. “It’s similar to Marquette in terms of being on the water and everything.”
Coreau decided to forgo his senior season at Northern Michigan after posting a 2.70 goals-against average along with a .919 save percentage in 38 games played this past year. He ended up choosing the Red Wings over several other NHL teams.
The netminder said that the past couple of months have been like any other he’s experienced.
“It’s kind of surreal,” he said. “It’s always Red Wings everywhere, all through Michigan. It’s a top-notch organization.”
The transition from college to the pros hasn’t been too difficult for Coreau.
“Not a terrible amount has changed in terms of what I do,” he said. “I’ve tried to live professionally the past four or five years but the people around you – instead of teammates saying ‘let’s go drink tonight’ it’s ‘let’s go workout,’ do something that’s going to get us better.”
His growing relationships with Red Wings goalie coach Jim Bedard and former Red Wing goalie Chris Osgood have helped him justify his choice in signing with Detroit.
“Jim and Chris are really good guys,” Coreau said. “They’re people too, they’re not just coaches. They joke around. They are really good guys.”
Although he can only practice in a limited role this week, he still has some goals he’d like to accomplish in his return to the northern Michigan area.
“This week I’m just trying to work hard, show what I can do, and meet new guys,” he said. “Coming up to the season just to compete for a job, I know I’m not going to step in and be given anything.”