At the end of the 2017-18 season, Garret Cockerill showed signs of great potential. He was fast, skilled, smart, and a hard worker during games. My hopes for a transition to the NHL were quite high for Cockerill.
A different Cockerill appeared with the start of the 2018-19 season. His work ethic dampened a bit and it didn’t seem like he wanted to be in Cleveland at all. So, it was no shock that five games into the 2018-19 season Cockerill was sent to the ECHL to play with the Jacksonville IceMen. He was later traded to the Reading Royals (ECHL). Cockerill stood out at the ECHL level. During this time, we got to see a glimpse of the old Cockerill. The one who was bursting with energy and skill.
Cockerill was brought up just in time for the Monsters vs Milwaukee Admirals game on March 13th. He had a strong showing upon his return to the AHL. Cockerill appeared to be both mentally and physically stronger.
Cockerill procured the bulk of his AHL regular season points on March 22nd against the Rochester Americans. He notched three assists, set up multiple plays, and annoyed the heck out of the opposition during that game. Unfortunately, this was the highlight of his season. Cockerill’s skills took a turn for the worse as the season rolled on. He also started to look incredibly out of shape. Cockerill began struggling for breathes after longer shifts and even needed help getting up from the ice after sliding down to stop a shot.
During the playoffs, Cockerill made many “stupid” mistakes on the ice. One of which led to an overtime loss against the Toronto Marlies.
This season was not the best for such a talented defender. I hope he’s able to shake the rust off during the offseason. If Cockerill can get back to his 2017-18 talent level, he will be on the right path to move forward in the pros. If he can’t get back there, I don’t see Cockerill having any sort of lengthy career in hockey.
Garret Cockerill 2018-19 Regular Season Stats
Games Played: 16
Penalty Minutes: 6
Garret Cockerill 2019 Calder Cup Playoff Stats
Games Played: 6
Penaty Minutes: 4
Cockerill is a free agent this summer. Truthfully, I think the Monsters should pass on giving him a contract. Although, Cockerill could use a man like Head Coach Mike Eaves in his life. The question is if Eaves has the patience to work with a guy who might not take the game as seriously as they should take the game.