If you are just returning with the start of preseason, you can find a clickable menu that includes the previous 15 ‘Back to School’ articles HERE.
After a bit of an intermission for the start of training camp, our ‘Back to School’ series returns today with a trip to Ontario to check in on Hurricanes prospect and Sault Ste. Marie defenseman Noah Carroll.
Noah Carroll was selected in the sixth round of the 2016 NHL Draft. His skill set is that of a skating, puck-moving defenseman with good mobility. After developing as a younger player with the Guelph Storm, he was a trade deadline acquisition for Sault Ste. Marie where he provided veteran depth in the top 4 for the end of the season and the playoffs. His combined totals for 2016-17 were 25 points in 62 games, and we was a noticeable plus 15 in 30 games with Sault Ste. Marie and also plus 3 in 11 playoff games. He has already been returned to Sault Ste. Marie for the 2017-18 season.
Interview with Sault Ste. Marie Associate Coach Joe Cirella
About the Interviewee
Joe Cirella is an Associate Coach with the Sault Ste. Marie Grehyounds and is entering his sixth season with the team. Prior to joining the Soo Greyhounds, Cirella coached in the NHL ranks with the Florida Panthers and also coached for the Oshawa Generals in the OHL for seven years. Prior to coaching, Cirella logged 14 seasons as an NHL defenseman. In 828 games in the NHL, he had 64 goals and 211 assists.
Interview on Noah Carroll
Canes and Coffee: After arriving via trade at about the midway point of the season, what was Noah Caroll’s role and how did he perform in the remainder of the 2017-18 season with the Greyhounds?
Joe Cirella: Noah was acquired to give us (SSM Greyhounds) depth and another veteran presence being a 1996 birth year player with potential at being an overage defenseman for us this year. He was brought in to defend against other teams top players and play on the penalty kill for us. He did a very good job last year 2016-17 and we are happy he is back with us for the 2017-18 season.
Canes and Coffee: What are Noah Carroll’s strengths as a young player that give him the potential to defy the odds as a sixth-round draft pick and one day play in the NHL?
Joe Cirella: Noah is a physical player that uses his body to create space, he defends well and has a good skill set that allows him to create offensively. He has a great, heavy shot and is willing to sacrifice his body on the penalty kill.
Canes and Coffee: What areas of Noah Carroll’s game and skill set still have room for improvement as he works to round out his game and make it to the NHL?
Joe Cirella: Noah continues to improve his skill set daily, doing extra on ice skill sessions working on puck handling, shooting, angles, containment and battles
Canes and Coffee: Noah Carroll will have had a good 2017-18 season in terms of helping Sault Ste. Marie win and also earning a professional contract if he is able to __________.
Joe Cirella: …Continues to believe he can make a difference every time he is on the ice.
Canes and Coffee: Is there a current or former NHL player whose style of play and skill set are somewhat similar to Carroll’s and could be model and something to strive for in his ongoing development?
Joe Cirella: Brooks Orpik of the Washington Capitals
Canes and Coffee: Is there anything else that Carolina Hurricanes fans would be interested to know about Noah Carroll?
Joe Cirella: Noah is a great ambassador for the Greyhounds in the community and is well liked by his teammates.
Interview with Brad Coccimiglio from the SooToday
About the interviewee
Brad Coccimiglio (Twitter=@bradcoccimiglio) is a sports journalist for SooToday. His work has appeared in The Hockey News as well as online at FoxSports.com in addition to regular freelance work with SooToday before joining the team full time. He has covered seven MasterCard Memorial Cup tournaments and has appeared on numerous local sports radio shows as a guest and co-host in addition to providing stories for the SooToday’s affiliate sites.
Interview on Noah Carroll
Canes and Coffee: What was your first impression of Noah Carroll after he arrived via trade in early January?
Brad Coccimiglio: He struck me as the type of player that fit the Greyhounds system pretty well. He skates well and can move the puck which suits the Greyhounds puck-possession style perfectly.
Canes and Coffee: What was his role and how did he play in the roughly half of a season that he spent with Sault Ste. Marie?
Brad Coccimiglio: After the trade, the team had him playing on the second defensive pair with Minnesota prospect Gustav Bouramman. It forced him to play a more defensive role, which I think was an adjustment for him. He made the adjustment but it wasn’t easy.
Canes and Coffee: From what you saw of Noah Carroll for roughly half of the 2016-17 season, what are his strengths as a player that make him an NHL prospect? What areas of his game need to improve/develop to make the challenging jump from being a late-round draft pick to one day becoming an NHLer?
Brad Coccimiglio: The fact that he can move the puck, sees the ice fairly well and can skate is a huge help. The biggest thing for him will be developing his defensive game and making decisions at a higher speed. It’s not easy to make that jump, but the fact that he can think the game well is a good start in transitioning that to the next level. Adding a more physical element would be big as well but it’s not necessarily a must.
Canes and Coffee: Recognizing that Carroll is still early in his development, which current or former NHL players does he remind you of?
Brad Coccimiglio: On of the interesting comparisons I’ve seen, and it actually was in a report here, was for Carroll’s game to be modeled after someone like Danny Dekeyser in Detroit. Dekeyser is a player who has a solid defensive game and can skate well.
Canes and Coffee: What is the outlook for Sault Ste. Marie for the 2017-18 season, and what is Noah Carroll’s expected role on the team?
Brad Coccimiglio: The Greyhounds look to be a team that will be solid this winter. They return a lot of solid talent up front and Caroll will play a big role on the blue line. He stands to be logging a lot of minutes this year after the graduation of Bouramman and Colton White to pro hockey.
For past coverage on Noah Carroll including a check in on him during the 2016-17, please visit his Canes and Coffee player page HERE.
Canes and Coffee would like to extend a huge thank you to Soo Greyhounds Associate Coach Joe Cirella and to Brad Coccimiglio from the SooToday for generously sharing their insight on Hurricanes prospect Noah Carroll!