Second in my series counting down to rookie camp, we have Samuel Carrier. Let me know if there's someone you want to know about.
photo by Harry How/Getty Images
Man I love this awkward photo shoot
Name: Samuel Carrier
Weight: 186 lbs
Weight: 186 lbs
Hometown: Varennes, Québec
To set the tone for this post, I'd like to share someone's first-hand experience of Samuel Carrier. Twitter friend Sarah (of somethingsbruin.net) went to a QMJHL preseason game of the Lewiston MAINEiacs as they played the Victoriaville Tigres. She promised to keep an eye on our Sam to see how he played. I'll let her take it away:
"[Carrier] got elbowed from behind by [Tigre] Vincent Marcoux into the half wall. He fell down, stood up, turned around and punched the guy in the face."Now THAT'S what I like to hear.
The feisty French Canadian was the 2010 6th round (176th overall) pick of the Washington Capitals, and seemed delighted to be coming to the team. He's said that he enjoys watching Mike Green, as Carrier is also an offensive defenseman who enjoys occasionally joining in on the rush. And like Green, he too is valuable on the power play due to his offensive skills.
Carrier was drafted by the Québec Remparts in the first round (10th overall) of the 2008 QMJHL Entry Draft. He had set several records with his Midget team (he has the record of most goals by a rookie defenseman in a single game, as well as landing in the top 5 of most goals by a rookie defenseman in a season). But yet Carrier's offensive instinct didn't seem to kick in until last season. He spent his first QMJHL season with the Remparts (home to Dmitry Kugryshev and head coach Patrick Roy). But despite the talent there, he didn't exactly have a breakout rookie season. Although he had some success in Midget, in 56 games with the Remparts in 2008-09, he scored only 9 points.
After the season's end, Carrier was traded to a struggling Lewiston team in a multi-player, multi-pick deal. His first season there in 2009-10, he seemed to hit his stride. In 66 games, he scored an enviable 42 points (10 goals, 32 assists). Five of those ten goals came on the power play. Carrier helped the MAINEiacs to the playoffs last year - a team that was last in the Central division the season before Carrier arrived. The MAINEiacs didn't make it past the first round, but Carrier did score a power play goal in the series against Drummondville.
Hockey's Future stresses Carrier's youth and inexperience when they point out areas where he needs improvement. He sometimes is out of position chasing after the play (though it's not like we haven't seen that before; see #8 on this list) but he is effective along the boards in the defensive zone, puckhandles well, and has a heavy, accurate shot from the point. Carrier may not ever make the NHL, but he was still draftable due to his potential:
"Carrier is by nature an offensive player from the backline and has some skills and creativity that set him apart from prospects his age - which is why he was drafted. He is still young enough to develop the complimentary elements to make him a successful attacking defenseman and potential power play specialist at the NHL level."Carrier is only 18 and therefore will return to play with the MAINEiacs this upcoming season, but he seemed to take a lot from this year's development camp. While not making a huge impression like Johansson or Kuznetsov, he was solid on the blue line and took the experience very seriously. He showed maturity in his approach to camp, but I also loved Carrier's naïveté - in an interview on a Potomac cruise for the attendees, Carrier admitted that he "didn't know" there was a river in Washington:
Ah, to be young and Canadian.