A successful transition from juniors for 2014-15 season
As the Checkers saw multiple key defensemen called up to NHL, one player stepped up as the team’s top blue liner. Trevor Carrick was drafted by the Hurricanes in 2012 as a fourth round pick, from the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL. In 2014-2015 he played his rookie season in Charlotte, putting up 32 points in 76 games, both records for Checkers rookie defensemen.
Carrick started the season on the left side of the second defensive pairing, with Danny Biega as his defense partner. It wouldn’t take long before he would be moved up to the first defensive pairing in place of NHL call-up Brett Pesce, and he would not be moved from that first pairing for the rest of the season. He tallied 20 points in the first half of the season and would start to become a consistent force on the power play. By the end of 2015, the Checkers had lost Pesce and Jaccob Slavin to permanent NHL call-up, leaving the bulk of defensive responsibilities in Carrick’s hands. His strong play in the first half of the season would earn him an invitation to represent Canada in the 2015 Spengler Cup.
After the New Year, Carrick would keep up his solid play on the blue line and in late January he was invited to play for the Central Division in the AHL All-Star Classic that was held in Syracuse. He would put up 22 more points during the second half of the season, totaling 42 points for the year. That was good enough for eighth among all defensemen in the AHL for points and third all time for most points by a defenseman in Checkers single season history. The 22 points that he garnered on the power play were also fourth among league wide defensemen. He was called up by the Hurricanes for the first time on March 15 and he made his NHL debut later that night against the Washington Capitals. He was called up for one more game on March 19 against the Minnesota Wild.
Seeking an opportunity at the NHL level
Despite his accolades from last year, Carrick is still on the outside looking in when it comes to competing for a roster spot on the Hurricanes. With guys like Pesce and Slavin already being called up ahead of him and with Haydn Fleury, Roland McKeown, and Jake Bean all waiting in the wings, there looks to be no roster spot for him on the Canes in the future. There is just not enough about his game that stands out to put him in front of any of those younger players for any future depth chart.
Look for Carrick to come out this upcoming season in great shape and ready to play a lot of minutes because he most likely is aware that he really sets himself apart from the pack of other young defensemen to earn a chance with the Carolina Hurricanes.