Leafs sign Sam Carrick to 1-Year Contract

Contrary to recent events, coaches aren’t the only people in hockey that can get paid. The Toronto Maple Leafs displayed that this afternoon by signing forward Sam Carrick to a one-year contract.

While there seems to be an emphasis on the upcoming wave of Leafs prospects, Carrick is a carry-over that is definitely worth continuing to pay attention to. While the 23-year-old doesn’t have elite upside by any means, he plays a bottom six game that’s very suited to the modern game.

In his past two seasons, Carrick has been a staple on the Toronto Marlies, picking 74 points in 140 games played over that time. Over these two seasons, he’s consistently been one of the team’s leaders in shots per game, a heavy and frequent hitter, a key part of the team’s penalty kill, and more than willing to drop the gloves when need be. In that same group of games, Carrick ammassed 241 penalty minutes, with sixteen fighting majors taking up a major chunk of that.

Last year, Carrick got his first extended look in the NHL, earning a couple of callups throughout the year. In sixteen games, he picked up a goal and assist. This is something that needs to improve in the future if he would like to stick around, but seeing as he was used in shutdown situations and played most of his games in the midst of the mid-late season collapse, it’s at least somewhat understandable. Despite the difficult situations, Carrick managed to put up strong positive relative possession numbers in his time with the team.

It’ll be interesting to see what’s next for the 2010 5th Round Draft pick. If previous years are of any indication, Carrick will be back in the gym and on the ice sooner than later, with an emphasis on improving his skating, an area where he’s made major strides in since junior. The short term of the deal is curious and turns it into a “prove it” year; if he plays well, he could earn an NHL raise. If he drops the ball, he might not get qualified next summer.

Reccomended Reading: “The Emergence of Sam Carrick“, April 2014

  • tambles27

    Good to see the Leafs make a signing that points towards an internal promotion this year. We went and signed a couple of depth free agents last year that made it hard for the Marlies to crack the big leagues, even before the collapse.

  • dougie88

    Solid signing. Worth the gamble if he is a decent bottom 6 guy, and it provides another warm body that can keep the higher level prospects developing in the AHL.

    • Just as the Burkonian attitude of truculence/size over skill will take time to change, Dubas has made it clear that the organization will no longer pigeonhole players into preconceived roster positions. This will allow the players to work towards an unlimited ceiling of potential. I am not implying Carrick has the skill set to be our 1st line centre however he can now determine his own destiny.

      Players are 18 when drafted and though they think themselves men, they are still impressionable teens looking for direction, guidance and support. If your boss told you he didn’t think you had the potential to be more than a lackey in the mail room, how many individuals have the determination to prove him wrong?

      There will be no more “we drafted you as a bottom 6/4 th line, penalty killing face-off wizard, incredible on the forecheck every third Sunday afternoon game during a full moon cycle 157 days after the opening of Bass season”.

      So much of these young men’s development is focused on the physical aspects of the game. It is nice to see Shanahan and Co. see that the psychological aspects of success are just as important.

  • Depending on how many players the Leafs trade from last year’s roster, Carrick, McKegg and Leivo could find themselves on the big club with strong training camps. Carrick is always “in the play” and is a fan favorite at Ricoh Collasium. He is another player that strives to improve his game and will be up for any challenge Babcock presents to him. Congratulations To SC on the new contract.
    The Marlies will miss your attitude and work ethics.