Carter Ashton
Image: NHL

Carter Ashton

Hometown:

Saskatoon Saskatchewan

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1991-04-01

Position:

RW

Eligible for draft:

2009

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2009

Height:

6-3

Acquired:

Trade with Toronto, 2015

Weight:

205 lbs.

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History

2005-06: Carter Ashton was selected by the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the first round (7th overall) of the 2006 WHL Bantam Draft.

2006-07: Ashton scored 28 goals with 38 assists and 99 PIM in 41 games for the Saskatoon Contacts in the SMHL. He made his WHL debut appearing in two games with the Hurricanes, posting no points and a -1 rating.

2007-08: In his first season with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Ashton appeared in just 40 games due to an injury. He scored 5 goals with 4 assists and was -2 with 21 PIM. Ashton played in 19 playoff games and had 1 assist with 12 PIM and was -2 as the Hurricanes reached the WHL finals. He played for Canada Western in the World U-17 Challenge and had 1 goal with 5 assists and 2 PIM in six games.

2008-09: Ashton appeared in 70 games for the Lethbridge Hurricanes and had a breakout year in his draft season. He scored 30 goals with 20 assists and was -5 with 93 PIM. In the 2009 WHL playoffs, Ashton played in 11 games, with 1 goal and 2 assists and was -8 with 15 PIM as the Hurricanes defeated Saskatoon in a seven-game, first-round series before being swept by Calgary in the second round. Ashton played in the 2009 Top Prospects Game.

2009-10: Ashton attended the Lightning camp before returning to the WHL. After starting the season with Lethbridge, he was part of a multi-player trade in December that sent him to the Regina Pats. Ashton played 65 games between the two teams and scored 24 goals with 27 assists and was -13 with 109 PIM. Ashton made his pro debut following the season, as Regina failed to make the playoffs. IN 11 games with Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate Norfolk, he scored 1 goal and was -3 with 6 PIM.

2010-11: Ashton appeared in two AHL playoff games for Norfolk after putting up 71 points in 66 WHL games during the junior season and skating for Canada at the 2011 U20 World Junior Championships. He was scoreless and -3 in his two-game stint with the Admirals. Ashton skated in 29 games for Regina before a mid-season trade to Tri-City in the WHL. He finished the WHL regular season with 33 goals and 38 assists and was -6 with 106 PMs. Ashton scored 12 of his 17 power play goals with Tri-City and in ten playoff games for the Americans he had 3 goals with 5 assists and was -1 with 4 PMs. In seven games with silver medal-winning Canada at the junior tournament he had 1 goal with 2 assists and was +1 with 6 PMs.

2011-12: Ashton made his NHL debut as a 20-year-old, skating in his first game in the Maple Leafs’ 3-2 loss at Pittsburgh on March 7th. Obtained from Tampa Bay in a trade for defenseman Keith Aulie, Ashton appeared in 15 games for the Leafs and was minus-10 with no points and 13 penalty minutes; averaging 10:25 minutes of ice time. He spent most of his first pro season in the AHL – scoring 19 goals with 16 assists and 58 penalty minutes in 56 games for Lightning affiliate Norfolk. In seven games with the Toronto Marlies following the trade he scored 2 goals with 1 assists and was minus-three with 8 penalty minutes. The Marlies finished first in the North Division and reached the AHL finals. Ashton appeared in six AHL playoff games – including all four in the final series against his former team – and was minus-two with 1 goal, 2 assists and 8 penalty minutes.

2012-13: Ashton spent his first full season in the Toronto organization with the AHL affiliate Marlies. He skated in 58 regular season games, missing 18 games due to a broken bone in his foot. Ashton scored 11 goals with 8 assists and was +5 with 67 penalty minutes. Toronto finished first in the North Division and reached the second round in the AHL playoffs. Ashton scored 3 goals with 2 assists and was -1 with 4 penalty minutes in nine playoff games.

2013-14: Ashton spent his third pro season shuffling between the Maple Leafs and the AHL — skating in 32 games for Toronto and spending the rest of the year with the AHL’s Marlies. Seeing mostly fourth line duty with the Leafs he had 3 assists and was +1 with 19 penalty minutes, averaging 6:16 minutes of ice time per game. Ashton was a nearly point-per-game scorer for the Marlies, finishing with 16 goals and 7 assists in 24 regular season games. He was +8 with 30 penalty minutes. Toronto finished first in the North Division and reached the Western Conference finals — falling to Texas in a seven-game series. Ashton scored 4 goals with 5 assists and was +3 with 16 penalty minutes in 12 playoff games. He was tendered a one-year two-way contract and re-signed with the Maple Leafs as a restricted free agent in July 2014. 

2014-15: Ashton was with the Maple Leafs out of training camp but did not make his first game appearance until October 31st. He skated in three games for the Leafs before receiving a 20-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on PED substances. He played four games with the Leafs after the suspension before being returned to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. He was -3 with no points nor penalties, averaging six minutes of ice time in seven NHL games. Ashton scored 4 goals with 4 assists and was -2 with 8 penalties in 12 games with the Marlies. In February 2014 Ashton was dealt along with David Broll to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a conditional draft pick, finishing the year with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch. He scored 3 goals with 11 assists and was -6 with 61 penalty minutes in 29 regular season games and had an even plus/minus with no points and 7 penalty minutes in the Crunch’s three-game playoff series with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Talent Analysis

Ashton has good size and solid scoring instincts down low, but needs to make better use of his frame off the rush. He moves well up and down the ice, and is a willing physical combatant. A consistent scorer at the AHL level, he has been more of a lower line, two-way forward in the NHL to this point. Ashton is the son of former NHL winger Brent Ashton.

Future

Ashton played an energy/enforcer role for Tampa Bay AHL affiliate Syracuse, chipping in offensively, after being acquired by the Lightning following his suspension. He would become an unrestricted free agent if not tendered a contract offer from the Lightning by July 2015. A former first-round pick, he does not appear to have the offensive game nor skating skills to be a top-six forward at this point in his career. His size and willingness to compete suggest there may be some potential for him to reach the NHL in a lower line role. Expecting more than that at this point in Ashton's career may be overly optimistic.

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