Michael Carman, a 2006 third-round Colorado Avalanche pick, played a very solid game for the USA Blue Team against Finland on August 11 in Lake Placid at the USA Junior Team Evaluation Camp.
Centering Michael Gergen (PIT) and Bobby Ryan (ANA), Carman had a goal and two assists in the game. The 6’0, 180-pound forward played solidly both ends of the ice, en route to a 4-1 victory over the Finnish team.
“Carman had a big game for us tonight,” teammate Blake Geoffrion (NSH) summed up after the game.
Staff member and former U.S Head Coach of the 1994 U.S. Olympic Team at Lillehammer, Tim Taylor, told Hockey’s Future that Carman played his strongest game of the tournament.
“He is a 1988 born player, so he is one of the youngest players here,” observed Taylor, a three-decade Yale University coach. “He is a very disciplined and determined player. He plays hard in all three zones on ice. He is the kind of kid that has a lot of flexibility, he can play wing, he can play center, we can use him in a lot of different ways.”
Carman is a grind-it-out player who is also offensively productive. With the U.S. Under-18 team last year, he finished third on the team in scoring with 54 points. He ranked second on the team with 11 game-winning goals.
At the 2006 IIHF U-18 World Championship, he notched four goals and added four assists, placing him fourth-best of the tournament along with Russian player Ruslan Bashkirov. Carman also tied the team lead with a +7 rating in the event.
Born in the same town of teammate David Fischer, Apple Valley, Minn., Carman began skating at the age of 5 – on roller blades. But he did not play organized hockey until he was 9 years old.
“From the age of 7 to 9, I lived in England where my parents (Danette and Thomas) had to move for work. The first year, I played with the under-12 kids there,” Carman told Hockey’s Future.
“I hadn’t really skated on ice before leaving for England. It was a big jump for me to play for the first time in organized hockey. I was, you know, four feet tall and these guys were that high,” Carman recalled with a large smile.
Carman’s father job meant that the family had to travel a lot.
“Both of my parents grew up in Minnesota but we then lived in Georgia, Ohio, Texas, South Carolina, England and finally Minnesota again. All this, before I was 10 years old. I have been around a lot since my youngest age,” he said.
At the peewee and bantam level he played defense. He changed positions in high school.
Carman played for the Academy of Holy Angels, Minn. In the 2003-04 season, he earned All-State honorable mention.
Having traveled so much across the U.S., it is not surprising hearing Carman say that he is very proud wearing the jersey of his country in Lake Placid.
“It is a nice reunion here for some of us, having played together in Sweden just a few months ago. There are not competitions between us off the ice and on the ice. Sure, everyone wants to make the Junior Team but at the same time, we are all trying to go out there and beat the other countries.
“It is not individuals going on here,” Carman added.
Carman didn’t attend the Colorado Avalanche Rookie Development Camp this July.
“I’ll be there next year though,” he said.
This fall, Carman will mark his freshman season at the University of Minnesota of the WCHA.
The way he plays there will have a great impact on his possible selection for the U.S. Junior Team. If he keeps the pace he has shown since a week in Lake Placid, he should be introduced on the roster in Sweden next December.
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