2009-10: Connor Carrick skated for the Chicago Fury midget program in Illinois. In 22 games with the Fury midget major team he scored 2 goals with 4 assists and had 2 penalty minutes. He played 37 games with the Fury’s midget minor team; scoring 7 goals with 15 assists and 48 penalty minutes. Carrick attended the United States National Team Development Program camp in the spring and committed to playing college hockey at the University of Michigan in 2012-13. Carrick was selected by Guelph in the 11th round (212th overall) of the 2012 OHL Priority Draft.
2010-11: Carrick moved to Ann Arbor to skate for the US NTDP’s U17 squad. In 55 games he scored 4 goals with 16 assists and had 50 penalty minutes. He represented the United States in three tournaments – the 2010 U17 Four Nations Cup, the 2011 World U17 Hockey Challenge in Canada, and the 2011 U18 Vlad Dzurilla Tournament in Slovakia. He had one assist as the USA finished first in the Four Nations Cup, had 2 goals and 5 assists in six games for the second-place USA squad at the WHC and had 1 assist in three games as the US U17 team won the U18 Vlad Dzurilla tournament.
2011-12: Carrick skated in 57 games for the US NTDP’s Under-18 team in his second season in Ann Arbor. He scored 8 goals with 13 assists and had 46 penalty minutes. In six games for the gold medal-winning USA at the U18 WJC he scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was plus-four. Plymouth obtained the OHL rights to Carrick in a June 2012 trade with Guelph and he committed to playing with the Whalers rather than playing college hockey . Ranked 124th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2012 NHL Draft, he was selected by the Washington Capitals in the fifth round (137th overall).
2012-13: Carrick attended training camp with Washington and signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Capitals in September 2013 before joining the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers for his first season of major junior hockey. He as an assistant captain and one of three players to skate in all 68 regular season games for Plymouth. He scored 12 goals with 32 assists and was +27 with 79 penalty minutes. The Whalers finished first in the West Division and reached the Western Conference finals against eventual OHL champion London. Carrick scored 2 goals with 16 assists and was +18 with 6 penalty minutes in 15 playoff games. He was invited to USA Hockey’s junior evaluation camp in August 2014.
2013-14: Carrick made the Capitals out of training camp — making his NHL debut in a game at Chicago on October 1st and skating in three games before being assigned to AHL affiliate Hershey. He played for the USA U20 team in the 2014 World Juniors and rejoined the Capitals in January. Carrick scored 1 goal with 5 assists and was -9 with 23 penalty minutes in 34 regular season games with Washington. He played 13 AHL games for Hershey and was -3 with 4 assists and 15 penalty minutes. Carrick had 3 assists and was +7 with 4 penalty minutes for the USA at the WJC. The USA finished fifth after a 5-3 loss to Russia in the quarterfinals.
2014-15: Carrick skated for the AHL’s Hershey Bears rather than shuttling between he NHL and the AHL in his second pro season. Leading Bears’ defensemen with 42 points and finishing third on the team with 132 penalty minutes, he was a team leader for Hershey as a 20-year-old. Carrick scored 8 goals with 34 assists and was -8 in 73 games. Hershey finished first in the East Division and reached the second round in the playoffs. Carrick scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was -1 with 12 penalty minutes in 10 playoff games.
2015-16: Carrick appeared in three NHL games with the Capitals, spending most of the year with the AHL’s Hershey Bears before being dealt by the Washington Capitals along with Brooks Laich and second round pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Daniel Winnick and a fifth round pick in February 2016. He played 16 games with the Maple Leafs and was the leading scorer for the Toronto Marlies in the AHL playoffs. Carrick scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was -5 with 15 penalty minutes in 19 NHL games, averaging 15:32 minutes of ice time. In 52 AHL regular season games (47 with Hershey) he scored 11 goals with 18 assists and was +25 with 52 penalty minutes. The Marlies finished first in the North Division, advancing to the Eastern Conference finals against Carrick’s former team, Hershey. Carrick scored 7 goals, tied with forwards William Nylander and Connor Brown for the team lead, and was +8 with 11 assists and 12 penalty minutes in 15 playoff games. Three of his seven goals were scored on the power play.
Carrick lacks size (5’11, 185 pounds), but he more than makes up for it with his skating and offensive ability. He shows great confidence carrying the puck and attacks the offensive zone, jumping into the rush and creating opportunities. Though he is undersized for a defenseman, he shows competency in his own zone despite facing physical challenges. His shot and ability to quarterback the power play are what make him most valuable and he has the skill set to be very good as an offensive defenseman on the NHL level.
Carrick skated in 19 NHL games in 2015-16 (16 of those games with the Maple Leafs after being acquired in a trade with Washington in February) and led all scorers for the Toronto Marlies in their Calder Cup playoff run to the Eastern Conference finals. An offensively-inclined defender who plays with an edge to his game, Carrick would be an unrestricted free agent if not tendered a contract offer by Toronto. He appears to have surpassed Toronto 2011 first-round pick Stuart Percy in the depth chart and will likely push for a roster spot in training camp. Long-term the consistency in his defensive game will determine if Carrick can stick with an NHL club or remains an injury fill-in/occasional call-up type player.