Brett Carson is one of three Calgary Hitmen defensemen eligible for the 2004 National Hockey League Entry Draft. Carson, a returning member of the Calgary Hitmen from the 2002-03 season, was acquired via a trade with the Moose Jaw Warriors, a deal that saw Johnny Boychuk, a highly regarded Colorado Avalanche prospect, dealt away from Calgary.
The 6’4.5 defenseman was selected to participate in the 2004 CHL Top Prospects game, in which he registered the fastest lap in the skills competition at a time of 14:558, ahead of fellow WHL defenseman Mike Green, who registered a time of 14:644.
2005-06: Carson has continued to excel with the Hitmen in what could be his final year of junior, playing on the team’s top defensive pairing. He was nominated as captain for this season by his teammates and he ended up tied for team lead in defensive scoring and fourth overall with 11 goals and 29 assists in the full 72 regular season contests. The 40 points was also 13th in league scoring for defensemen. Carson was also a big part of the reason that the Hitmen set a franchise record for fewest goals against in the regular season with 155, which was also tops in the CHL. That total shattered the old Hitmen mark of 182 goals against.
2006-07: As a pro rookie this season he’s managed to stick in Albany, showing once again that defensemen in the Western Hockey League seem to migrate well to the pro game, even with the NHL’s more recent rule changes.In 2006-07, Carson spent three games with the Everblades where he had a goal and an assist, but the rest of the season he’s been in the AHL. Carson appeared in 63 games for the River Rats, scoring two goals (one on the power play), and adding 16 assists. His strong puck-moving ability and physical play have made him a standout for the Rats.
2007-08: Carson was again solid for Albany, improving on his point totals (two goals and 22 assists) while being one of the few Hurricanes players or prospects to not miss significant time to injury, playing 77 games with the River Rats. Carson also contributed in the postseason, finishing with a goal and three assists in seven playoff contests, good for a tie for second best on the team.
Although Carson won the fastest lap at the 2004 Top Prospects game, and does have a long, powerful stride, Carson’s straight away speed is mediocre at best, instead deriving most of his forward momentum on his crossovers. Brett’s massive legs allow him to dig hard into the ice, thus generating both power and speed.
Offensively, Carson has some potential, but isn’t likely to develop into a premier offensive defenseman. Running the power play for Calgary wasn’t something that Carson did with regularity, but he still managed to collect his fair share of points.
In his own end, Carson is firm, but not spectacular. His positioning is sound, as is his physical presence down low. The best word to describe Carson’s physical play and defensive play in general is solid. Also, Carson is able to handle the puck well under forechecking pressure, and very rarely makes a bad outlet pass.