Photo - Connor Carrick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Photo by Getty Images, courtesy of Washington Capitals.
PLYMOUTH – Plymouth Whalers general manager and head coach Mike Vellucci announced the commitment of 18-year-old defenseman Connor Carrick, who signed a standard Ontario Hockey League contract today with the Whalers.
“We’re really excited to have Connor come to Plymouth,” Vellucci said. “He’s got a great opportunity to continue his education while playing in the best developmental league in the World. With Beau Schmitz leaving, Connor fills a need as an offensive defenseman who will help our power play.”
Carrick’s rights were acquired by the Whalers on Wednesday from the Guelph Storm in exchange for a sixth round draft choice in the 2013 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection, plus a couple of conditional third-round picks. Carrick was originally taken by Guelph in the 11th round (212th overall) of the 2010 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.
“From a hockey perspective, I believe that the Plymouth Whalers offer the best opportunity for me to reach my dreams in this game,” Carrick said today in a telephone interview. “You have a great team (in Plymouth) and I’m hoping to add to it. I felt it was a great fit and I’m very excited to make this decision.
“It seemed it (the decision to come to Plymouth) was a no-brainer – both my hockey and my schooling will be in great hands. The underlying message is I’m very excited. I definitely lost some sleep over a couple of nights, but I’m confident in moving forward this is what’s best for me.”
MORE COVERAGE - George Sipple, Detroit Free Press.
Carrick – 5-feet-11 and 187 pounds and from Orland Park, IL – was selected by the Washington Capitals in the fifth round (137th overall) of the recent 2012 National Hockey League Entry Draft. He has played over the last two seasons with National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor. Last season, Carrick scored eight goals with 13 assists for 21 points in 57 games for the NTDP U-18’s. In 2010-11, Carrick scored four goals with 16 assists for 20 points in 55 games for the NTDP U-17’s.
In August, Carrick will be joining Plymouth teammates Ryan Hartman, JT Miller and Stefan Noesen as they participate in the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp. The camp is an audition for a spot on the U.S. National Junior Team that will play in the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, Dec. 26, 2012-Jan. 5, 2013, in Ufa, Russia.
The Whalers have signed six new players in preparation for the 2012-13 season. Besides Connor Carrick and Ryan Hartman, the Whalers have also signed draft choices Zach Bratina, Alex Peters and Alex Nedeljkovic, along with Riley Corbin (acquired in a trade). In addition, Plymouth selected two defensemen from Sweden in Wednesday’s Canadian Hockey League Import Draft - Ludvig Bystrom (second round pick of the Dallas Stars in 2012) and Simon Karlsson (a Nashville draft in 2011).
The Whalers open the 2012-13 season on Sept. 21 in Sault Ste. Marie, with the home opener set for Sat. Sept. 22 at 7:05pm against the Belleville Bulls at Compuware Arena.