Noah Carroll 2016-17 season capsule
After a tough 2015-16 season on an undermanned Guelph Storm blue line in 2015-16, Noah Carroll looked to rebound in 2016-17 and lead a better defense. He played 32 games with Guelph in 2016-17 notching 2 goals and 11 assists and improving his plus minus significantly from minus 48 during the challenging 2015-16 campaign to plus 2 in nearly half of a season in 2016-17. He was traded near the trade deadline to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds where he has settled into a second pairing role and collected 5 points in his first 13 games with his new team.
Mid-season thoughts on Noah Carroll from 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: How would you summarize Noah Carroll’s 2016-17 season with the Guelph Storm before his trade on January 6?
Brock Otten: Carroll’s time with Guelph to start the year could be characterized by the word “inconsistent.” I thought he started the year pretty well and looked refreshed and confident in the early going. But as Guelph’s losses started to pile up, Carroll’s game began to slip a bit. At times, he looked visibly frustrated out there by his inability to turn things around. Bad passes, bad pinches and some of the decision making issues that plagued him last year crept back into his game. In essence, he looked like a guy trying to do too much for a team that needed an extra spark.
Canes and Coffee: Comparing Carroll’s play in 2016-17 to the 2015-16 season, are there any areas of his game that are noticeably improved? Are there any weaknesses in his game from the 2015-16 season that are still a limitation in his development?
Brock Otten: Quite frankly, I’m not entirely sure Carroll’s game has improved all that much from last year. His skating ability remains his bread and butter at both ends, but his shot and physical abilities are still weaknesses that prevent him from making a larger impact. Perhaps his willingness to engage physically in the defensive end has improved a touch, but it’s still inconsistent and I think (to some degree) led to his trade from Guelph.
Canes and Coffee: To make the leap from being a 6th round draft pick to playing at the NHL level, what areas of Carroll’s game still require the most improvement? What are his greatest strengths that project as NHL-capable in the future?
Brock Otten: I’ll start with the strengths. Again, his skating ability and overall mobility is excellent and will be the key to his NHL future. He evades the forecheck exceptionally well and is a very solid one on one defender off the rush because of his backwards and lateral mobility. But on the negative side, he needs to keep things simple offensively as he can be prone to turnovers. He also needs to improve his point shot if he wants to be a powerplay quarterback at the next level. And lastly, he needs to increase his physical intensity in the defensive end to win more one on one battles, especially in front of the net. The good news is that he’s probably a lock to return to the OHL as an overager next year. The Soo will be a very strong team and he’ll get every opportunity to be a key player for them and improve before Carolina has to worry about offering him a contract.
Canes and Coffee: In the short run since being traded from the Guelph Storm to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds on January 6, how has he played thus far? What is his situation with Sault Ste. Marie?
Brock Otten: Carroll has played pretty well in SSM. I’m finding him to be more aggressive offensively, using his speed to jump up in the rush as the 3rd/4th man in a lot. The up tempo game that the Greyhounds play has suited him well. He’s mostly been paired with Wild pick Gustav Bouramman on the Hounds’ 2nd pairing. Not seeing a ton of power play time, but does play the penalty kill. All in all, he’s fitting in well.
Canes and Coffee would like to extend a huge thank you to Brock for providing ‘from the rink’ insight on Canes prospect Noah Carroll for the Hurricanes fan base.
More on Noah Carroll and also MIDTERMS on Janne Kuokkanen, Jake Bean, David Cotton and Matt Filipe
Previous coverage on Noah Carroll includes:
If you missed them and want to catch up, you can find the first 4 entries in the ‘Midterms’ series here: