[ccfic caption-text format="plaintext"]
By Michael Flanagan
What goaltender James Corcoran did in 2016-2017 for Walpole High School hockey will forever be remembered after he recorded a state-leading 14 shutouts (postseason included) and allowing just 11 goals throughout the entire regular season, pioneering the Rebels to their first Super Eight berth in program history.
On July 6, Corcoran got a call that he’ll never forget. None other than Boston Bruins goaltending coach Bob Essensa invited him to take part in the team’s rookie development camp at Warrior Arena in Brighton. Essensa emphasized to the 6’4” Corcoran on the phone that he had earned his call-up in every way possible after several of the Bruins goalie prospects were forced to sit out to due injury/surgery recovery, and the Winchendon Academy-bound net minder immediately agreed to suit up and seize the opportunity to get noticed.Much of the talk heading into camp surrounded the team’s big offseason additions and draft prospects, such as due-to-be rookie Anders Bjork out of Notre Dame and Finland-native defenseman Urho Vaakanainen (Boston’s No. 18 overall pick in the 2017 draft). However, the center of attention at Warrior Arena quickly shifted to Corcoran, as the young man from Walpole quickly showed that he belonged.
Obviously, during warm-ups, Corcoran had a little bit of adjusting to do in terms of the shot speed he was facing. If only it were not for the missing nameplate on the back of his jersey, Corcoran’s height and size, as well as his sharpness when positioning himself within the crease, could have fooled anybody into thinking he wasn’t a late call-up.
Alongside no. 15 overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft and highly touted forward prospect Zach Senyshyn, Corcoran anchored the camp-champion three-on-three tournament team and got to hoist the trophy.
“It’s ridiculous what he is able to do,” said long-time friend and teammate of Corcoran at Walpole, Cam Martin. “Winning the three-v-three tournament they had and doing what he did for us all season long on the biggest of stages - it’s just unreal. I and the rest of the guys couldn’t be happier for him.”
Heading into his post-grad season at Winchendon this fall, Corcoran is doing all of the correct things to get noticed and possibly get recruited to play in college. Corcorcan’s production between the pipes throughout the 2016-2017 season for Walpole High speaks for itself, and he can now add this incredible accomplishment and experience to his hockey resume.