After spending their previous picks on three forwards and a goaltender, the Hurricanes finally took a defenseman with the 115th overall selection by drafting Trevor Carrick of the Mississauga St. Michaels Majors. This was their second of three picks in the fourth round of this year's draft.
Carrick is billed as a defensive defenseman with decent offensive potential. Most scouting reports I have read on Carrick are very mixed. There are some guys who do not see him as anything special but others have praised his strong defensive game and how well he plays in his own zone. The general consensus on Carrick is that he is a very good defenseman and his skill-sets can translate well to the NHL but he isn't going to be the next Chris Pronger. Those who have seen Carrick play have mostly good things to say about him.
Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus
95. Trevor Carrick, Defense, Mississauga-OHL
Carrick did not have the kind of great season points-wise you would like to see, but scouts have consistently sung praises for him. He's an above-average skater who moves with ease in all four directions and is able to generate a good first step off his backward movements. He has the ability to join the rush very effectively but won't always be that aggressive in joining the offense. Carrick has an average-sized frame but is notably physical. While he's not a mean punisher or anything, he consistently finishes his checks hard, wins the majority of battles he is involved in, and protects the front of his own crease pretty well. Carrick has puck-moving skills beyond simple outlet passes, as he can move it up moderate distances and will show power play ability despite his poor counting numbers. He doesn't have much puck skills, though, and when he's handling it outside of straight line movements, he can look quite rigid. Carrick does fine in his own end and that's more where he'll be leaned on at the pro level considering his size and ability to close gaps efficiently.
The Prospect Blog
Carrick seems to be the type of player who was born to play hockey. The third of fourth brothers, Carrick has always been a layer who impressed. Dating back to his Markham Major’s days, Carrick has always displayed a nice projectable upside. He has always looked to be a player who could have NHL level potential, but this year he has really established himself as a potential high draft pick for June. After joining the Majors this year after a year with the Stouffville Spirit of the OJHL, he was a pretty raw prospect who really had some good upside, but I was not sure about where he would fall in the NHL Draft. Once he got use to the pace of play and started to become comfortable with his surroundings and adjusted to the style of play, he started to really show growth. He projects out as a smart defensive first defenceman with some interesting offensive upside. I’m not sure how much offense he will produce at the next level, however he does show potential with the offensive size of his game.
Carrick has many attributes that make him a player to watch for the NHL Draft. First and foremost is his intelligence. He is extremely strong positionally and is always in the right place. He is quite strong at playing his gaps tight in his own zone, and rarely will give opposition forwards much room in his own zone. He has an active stick in passing lanes and is always knocking down pucks. He is quite effective at engaging physically down low and along the boards, and good at pinning opposition forwards out of the play. He rarely if ever will simply stick check an opposition forward and always engages physically in his own zone. He is an excellent skater who has above average footwork and acceleration. His footwork while transitioning from offensive to defensive skating and rarely will be beat wide. He makes good overall decisions with the puck on his stick, more so within 5-10 feet of him, not necessarily when he stretches the ice.
The one aspect of his game that Carrick needs to continue to develop is his offensive abilities. He makes smart, intelligent plays with the puck, but struggles with his stretch passes. When he has no options within a close proximity, he can force the puck into pockets of the ice that are over populated. He makes poor reads down the ice, and has makes poor, low percentage passes that can end up as icing, or as a turnover. He has shown some good growth offensively as the season moved forward, but some of the decisions that he makes need to be improved. I do wonder much better he will get offensively, but it shouldn’t limit his long term upside as a smart defense first defenceman.
Carrick is projected to be a top 4 defense first defenceman. He will be able to play a strong defensive role, and add some occasional secondary scoring from the back end. He still has offensive growth, just not sure how much offensive impact he will have at the NHL level.
Carrick is projected to be a second round draft selection, and should be a 31st – 40th overall selection for the NHL Draft.
Last Word on Sports
Carrick is primarily a defensive defenceman. He shows great intelligence and excellent positioning on the ice. He is rarely caught out of position, and plays an effective positional game. He gives his opponents very little space on the ice and pressures the puck carrier well. He cuts down passing and shooting lanes with smart positioning, and an active stick. He is also an effective shot blocker. Carrick is not a huge hitter, however he does well in board battles and in fighting for position. Carrick has also been known to drop the gloves on occasion to stick up for teammates, but he’s not someone who will go out looking for a fight either, he just doesn’t back down when it comes to him.
Offensively, Carrick is the steady stay at home type. He makes good, short crisp passes on breakouts, but can struggle with his accuracy on long stretch pass. He’s not likely to rush the puck up the ice as his primary concern is his own end of the rink. In the offensive zone, he pinches rarely (and only when absolutely necessary), however he does possess a decent shot, and keeps it low and accurate from the point.
Carrick is a decent skater but he isn’t going to blow you away either. He has slightly above average top end speed, but his acceleration could use some work. His agility and pivots are good but not great. His lateral mobility, balance, and agility are all good enough that when combined with his smart positioning and high hockey IQ, he is rarely beaten off the rush, and is able to effectively play his position.
We believe Carrick has the ability to become a good defensive defenceman at the next level and would compare his potential to become a player similar to Josh Gorges of the Montreal Canadiens.
… and that is the Last Word.
Like I said, just about everyone has good things to say about Carrick but nothing that blows you away, which is to be expected from a mid-round pick. Although, the folks at The Prospect Blog seem to be a bit higher on him than others (projected him to go in the second round) so maybe they see something in him that others don't. Either way, I think the Hurricanes did well with this pick. Carrick sounds like a very safe selection and has a good amount of potential. He still hasn't turned 18 yet so you know that there's time for him to improve his all-around game and possibly get bigger. As of right now, Carrick sounds like a fundamentally sound stay-at-home defenseman and most NHL clubs have room for a player like that in their system, so I like this pick for Carolina. In the fourth round, the best you can do is draft guys who you think might have a future in the NHL and Carrick is a very safe pick for that.