Casey Borer

Casey Borer


Brooklyn Park Minnesota

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3rd round (69th overall), 2004


205 lbs.

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2002-03: After playing at Shattuck-St Mary’s HS in Minnesota, Borer joined the US NTDP in Ann Arbor. Appeared in 10 games with the U-17 team scoring 1 goal with 2 assists and had 2 goals and 2 assists in 46 games with the U-18 squad. Borer played for Team USA at the U-18 WJC in Russia appearing in six games.

2003-04: Borer played in 32 games as a freshman for St. Cloud State University in the WCHA with 8 assists for the Huskies. One of the hottest teams in college hockey before fading down the stretch and losing their last seven games, the Huskies finished 18-16-4.

2004-05: Borer began emerge as a legitimate prospect in his sophomore season with St. Cloud State. He was a reliable defensive defenseman while chipping in 11 assists with 40 PIM in 35 games. One the team’s most improved players on the team, his even plus/minus was actually third best on a team that again struggled in the second half of the season, finishing 14-23-3 after being swept by Colorado College in the first round of the WCHA playoffs. Borer was also picked to represent the US at the WJC U-20 tournament and played in all six games.  

2005-06: Named a team captain as a junior, Borer was usually on the ice against the opponent’s top offensive threats. In 42 games, he scored 3 goals with 8 assists while accumulating 24 PIM. Team-wise, the Huskies were much-improved; finishing sixth in the league in the regular season and then advancing to the WCHA Championship game with a wild, 8-7 overtime win over Minnesota in the semifinals. A loss to North Dakota, 5-3, in the championship game ended St. Cloud’s season as the Huskies failed to get an NCAA berth despite their 22-16-4 record. 

2006-07: Borer was once again named captain as a senior and again was the backbone of the Huskies defense. In 40 games for St. Cloud State, he scored 2 goals with 9 assists with 30 PIM as the HUskies finished second to Minnesota in the regular season, reached the semifinals of the WCHA tournament and qualified for the NCAA tournament, falling to Maine, 4-1, in an East regional semifinal to end the season with a record of 22-11-7. Following the college season Borer signed an entry level contract with the Hurricanes and appeared in one game with Carolina’s AHL affiliate in Albany.

2007-08: Borer impressed in his first full pro season, notching six goals and 13 assists in 61 games with the Albany River Rats while also opening eyes during a brief stint with the Hurricanes. Borer showed intriguing offensive upside, getting some power play time during his time in Raleigh, and also showed a knack for timely recovery in the defensive zone. Unfortunately, Borer’s season was cut short by a knee injury that cost him the end of the regular season and the River Rats’ seven playoff games. In 11 games with the Hurricanes, he scored 1 goal with 2 assists and a -3 plus/minus and 4 PIM.

2008-09: Borer appeared in just three games for the Hurricanes as he worked to come back fully from the knee injury of a year earlier – spending the bulk of the season in Albany with the River Rats. In his three game stint he failed to score a point but won some respect from his teammates after taking on Flyers’ tough guy Scott Hartnell in a fight after Hartnell took a run at veteran Rod Brind’Amour. In 51 games with the River Rats Borer scored 4 goals with 6 assists and was an uncharacteristic -17 as both he and the team failed to find any consistency. Borer’s season was ended prematurely in February when the team bus crashed and he suffered what was only later diagnosed as a broken neck.

2009-10: Hoping to rehab enough to be ready for training camp amid conflicting medical reports, Borer instead underwent neck surgery in September and missed the bulk of the season. Incredibly, he returned to the River Rats in January, playing 30 regular season games with 1 goal and 8 assists and 13 PIM and a -6 plus/minus. Borer also played in two regular season games for the Hurricanes before returning to Albany for the AHL playoffs. Borer was at his best in the post season, finishing +7 with an assist in six games. For his tremendous effort in coming back from his neck injury, Borer was awarded the AHL’s Fred Hunt Memorial trophy for Sportsmanship, Determination, and Dedication. The Hurricanes re-signed him to a one-year contract in July.

Talent Analysis

When healthy, Borer is a defensive defenseman with very good size who is a solid skater and plays a sound positional game. Despite his lack of offensive production, Borer possesses decent hands and is confident with the puck. He has the ability to make good outlet passes and sees the ice and follows plays very well. He is good in one-on-one situations and can contain opposing players quite well. Borer is quite good along the boards and doesn’t shy away from the physical play. He can deliver solid checks. A top defensive defensemen in college, Borer was often matched up against the opposing team’s top lines. Borer's courage and determination cannot be questioned after he returned from the effects of a broken neck and subsequent surgery in 2009-10.


Borer appeared to be on the cusp of an NHL career in 2007-08 before a knee injury and then the bus accident interrupted his career. His comeback last year was a feel-good story. While it is clear that he has the mental toughness to overcome such obstacles, Borer will be challenged physically to show he has the strength and physical stamina to handle the rigors of playing defense on a nightly basis. While Borer will have an opportunity to claim one of the bottom two defensemen spots with Carolina this season, it is more likely he starts the season with Charlotte, the new AHL affiliate of the Hurricanes. Long-term, should he be able to put his physical concerns behind him, Borer could be a solid shut-down defensemen for the Hurricanes.