New Jersey Devils: Connor Carrick May Surprise People This Season

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Last season, the New Jersey Devils sent Ben Lovejoy at the trade deadline to Dallas for Connor Carrick and a 3rd-round pick. These are the ‘not so flashy’ trades, unlike the Taylor Hall or P.K. Subban deals, that exemplify the brilliance of general manager Ray Shero. Lovejoy is now retired and that 3rd-round pick turned into Graeme Clarke, who has a ton of upside as an offensive forward.

Carrick is entering his sixth year in the NHL and has only ever played in more than 50 games in a single season once before, during his time with Toronto in the 2016-17 season. Since his arrival to New Jersey, the former 5th-round pick has been given more opportunity than he ever has before.

The shifty defensemen averaged nearly 20 minutes of ice time in the 20 games he played for the Devils, more than he ever has in his career. During that stretch, he posted seven points with one goal and six assists and overall was a standout as a new acquisition.

As a 25 year old who has been shifted around multiple times and has already played with four different organizations in his career, it’s easy to assume that he has had trouble finding his footing in the NHL. Now, after an impressive showing last season, he signed a two year $3 million extension with an annual average salary of $1.5 million during the offseason. A new revitalized New Jersey Devils team could be the perfect place for Connor Carrick to really prosper.

As mentioned before, Carrick has never played a full season in the NHL, but in the AHL when he has been handed a larger role, he’s been very successful. With the Hershey Bears in in 2014-15, he posted 42 points in 73 games played and during the Toronto Marlies run for the Calder Cup in the 2015-16 season, he was wildly impressive posting 18 points in 15 games in the playoffs.

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With Ty Smith being sent back to Spokane, the Devils 3rd pairing on defense will more than likely be split between him and Mirco Mueller. Mueller’s best attribute to the New Jersey Devils defense is his size. He’s a 6’3 defensemen on a defense that primarily lacks size and for the most part he stays out of the penalty box, but his value just about ends there. Expect Carrick and Mueller to split time for the first month or two of the season, and don’t be surprised if Carrick wins that battle and becomes an everyday player. If that happens, when it happens, it’s not crazy to believe that Connor Carrick could have a 30 point season.