Top 25 Under 25: #17 Trevor Carrick

Position: Defense
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 175 lbs.
4th Round, 2012
Age: 19
Last Year's Ranking: NR

Career Statistics

Trevor Carrick
Season Age Team Lge GP G A Pts P/G
2009-10 15 Upper Canada Patriots OJHL 2 0 1 1 0.500
2010-11 16 Stouffville Spirit OJHL 40 6 13 19 0.475
2011-12 17 Mississauga St. Michael's Majors OHL 68 6 13 19 0.279
2012-13 18 Mississauga Steelheads OHL 56 10 21 31 0.554

Trevor Carrick was probably the definition of a "safe pick" in the fourth round of last year's draft. He is pegged as a mobile but steady stay-at-home defenseman and while you can never have enough players like this, there seem to be a lot of them out there and it's tough to tell which ones will make it to the NHL. It's uncertain if Carrick will ever suit up in a Hurricanes uniform, but his development took a couple of steps forward last season, as he had a great second year with Mississauga and he appears to be trending in the right direction.

The numbers for Carrick aren't overly impressive because he was never much of an offensive force from the blue line, but scouts have had nothing but good things to say about his defensive game. Despite not having an intimidating presence, Carrick's known for playing a solid game in his own end and taking away space from opposing forwards. His playing style isn't too different from Brett Pesce, Carolina's third round pick from this year's draft, meaning that he is an effective shutdown defenseman but not one who loves to lay his body into opposing forwards or one who possesses a physical presence. This isn't a bad thing either because it means Carrick spends more time with the puck rather than trying to take it away from opposing players and is capable of creating more offense and zone time for his own team. 

The ability to make breakout passes, exit the zone and lead a rush up the ice is an under-appreciated part of any defenseman's game and this is something that Carrick seems to to do well at. He's not an aggressive player with the puck and isn't a creative play-maker, but he is capable of making smart plays out of his own end and finding open forwards in the neutral zone to start a rush the other way. Sometimes, that's all you need if you are going to be a stay-at-home defenseman and it can help give you an edge over other guys.

Carrick does have somewhat of an offensive upside, though and he showed it last year by having his best offensive season at Mississauga. Carrick put up 31 points in 56 games while scoring 10 goals, which is a career high for him. He skates well for a defenseman and does have a good shot from the point, which made him a regular on Mississauga's power play last season and he seemed to take advantage of it with his increased point total.

Another thing to note about Carrick is that he has really made considerable improvements every season in just about every area beyond goals and points. In this scouting report of him, the author talks about how Carrick was struggling on the bottom-pairing in the 2011-12 season but got an opportunity to play more minutes once Stuart Percy got injured and he made the most of it by emerging as one of Mississauga's better defensive defensemen. He continued that trend this year by adding some more offense to his game and being more than just a shutdown defenseman.

Some might think Carrick is ranked a little too high on this list, especially since I put him above more experienced guys like Levi and Rissanen but here's my reason for that. Those two players had good seasons, but didn't improve that much compared to past years. Carrick, on the other hand, had a career season in just about every category and still has plenty of upside, so I think he could really climb in the rankings in Carolina's prospect pool.

Next year should be a big season for him, as Mississauga is losing Stuart Percy along with overager Alex Cord, so that will give Carrick a chance to play more minutes and take on more responsibility. He was able to flourish with more responsibility last season, so here's to hoping that history repeats itself.