Canes and Coffee’s ‘back to school’ series profiling Hurricanes prospects below the AHL level features interviews from knowledgeable sources including coaches, former coaches and scouts/analysts who watch the players regularly.
Menu of Carolina Hurricanes prospect profiles thus far
In case you missed them, here are links to the previous Hurricanes prospect profiles:
Today’s article features Noah Carroll. Carroll was the Hurricanes sixth round draft pick in the 2016 NHL draft. The mobile defenseman will return to the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League for the 2016-17 season.
Comments on Noah Carroll from Guelph Storm coach Jarrod Skalde
Jarrod Skalde was named the head coach of the Guelph Storm in December of the 2015-16 season. His accomplishments and experience prior to coaching the Storm include winning ECHL coach of the year with the Cincinnati Cyclones and working as both an assistant and then head coach the AHL level for the Norfolk Admirals. Coach Skalde’s full bio can be found on the Guelph Storm web page.
Canes and Coffee: How would you describe Noah Carroll’s game in 3-4 sentences. What are his strengths?
Guelph Storm head coach Jarrod Skalde: Noah’s greatest strength is his skating and his ability to separate himself from the opposition. He has an effortless stride that allows him to cover a lot of ground on the ice. His first pass is an asset along with his Hockey IQ. Noah plays a skill game but will engage when the game becomes more physical.
Canes and Coffee: What new challenges and areas of improvement do your foresee for Noah Carroll in the 2016-17 season?
Guelph Storm head coach Jarrod Skalde: Noah’s areas of improvement this coming season are to create an identity for himself. I believe to play in the National Hockey League, Noah will have to be a shut down Defencemen. Improving positioning in the defensive zone and defending with urgency will be a focal point.
Canes and Coffee: To which NHL player(s) would you compare Noah Carroll and/or think he should model his game after?
Guelph Storm head coach Jarrod Skalde: I believe a good comparison for Noah is Marc-Edouard Vlasic of the San Jose Sharks. Elite skating ability who can play against the oppositions top lines and who defends with a great stick and plays with purpose.
Canes and Coffee: What is something about Noah Carroll that might be overlooked and maybe not noted in draft profiles and scouting reports?
Guelph Storm head coach Jarrod Skalde: Noah is a great teammate on the ice who will come to anyone’s defense if needed along with a work ethic off the ice. Noah’s off-ice commitment to improving his conditioning this past off season is very impressive.
Interview on Noah Carroll with Brock Otten from OHL Prospects
Brock Otten (Twitter=@BrockOtten) is the man behind OHL Prospects, a blog that has covered the OHL extensively since 2008. Here you’ll find draft rankings, player bios, interviews, and other OHL related news.
Canes and Coffee: Describe Carroll’s style of play and abilities in 3-4 sentences.
Brock Otten from OHL Prospects: Noah Carroll is a smooth skating two-way defender who possesses some intriguing qualities at both ends. He uses his plus mobility to be an effective defender off the rush and has exhibited a good head for the game in certain situations. Offensively, he starts the breakout effectively by using his skating ability to evade the forecheck. His overall offensive game continues to be a work in progress, as does his intensity in the defensive end.
Canes and Coffee: Some scouts had Carroll ranked fairly high entering the 2015-16 season. What, in your opinion, caused him to fall to the 7th round?
Brock Otten from OHL Prospects: Quite frankly, being the number one defender on a bad team is not an easy job. Carroll was not developmentally ready to be a go to player and he was thrust into situations that saw him playing over his head. It’s tough to look good when you’re constantly playing in your own end. Offensively, his confidence didn’t seem to be as high as it was the year prior, when scouts were labeling him a potential top 3 round selection. And defensively, he struggled to play with consistent intensity. The mobility is good, but he lost too many battles in the corners and in front of the net. Again though, we’re looking at a player who was being asked to do too much for a team that just wasn’t good at all. That will hurt your confidence.
Canes and Coffee: What areas of his game need refinement and improvement for Carroll to one day play in the NHL?
Brock Otten from OHL Prospects: I touched on it briefly above, but improving his physical engagement level in the defensive end is a must. He’s a solid positional defender because of his mobility. But he needs to be tougher to play against below the hash marks. Offensively, he skates the puck out well, but his decision making and ability to run the point on the power play will need to improve. Ditto for his point shot.
Canes and Coffee: To which NHL player(s) would you compare Carroll’s skill set and/or style of play and expect him to model his game after?
Brock Otten from OHL Prospects: For a comparison, I think you need to take a look at any solid two-way defender with plus mobility. Your Anton Stralman’s, Your Danny Dekeyser’s. Your Matthew Carle’s (early career). Those are the guys he should be patterning his game after.
Canes and Coffee: Is there anything else signficant about Noah Carroll not addressed by the questions above?
Brock Otten from OHL Prospects: Guelph is playing some very good hockey thus far in the OHL preseason and perhaps they’ll have the potential to be better than last year, accelerating the rebuild a bit. Carroll will return as the team’s number on defender, surrounded by a couple really good OHL rookies in Ryan Merkley and Dmitri Samurukov. How he handles that role the second time around will be interesting to watch.
Canes and Coffee would like to thank Coach Jarrod Skalde, the Guelph Storm organization and Brock Otten from OHL Prospects for their help covering Hurricane prospect Noah Carroll.