Leafs Call Up Sam Carrick, Shuffle Lines

sammy

The Toronto Maple Leafs have made another roster adjustment today, calling up young centre Sam Carrick from the Toronto Marlies.

Who?

You’re probably aware of Carrick by now, but if not, the 22 year old has played five games for the Leafs to date, all of which came this year. In those games, he’s picked up no points, and a minor penalty. Beyond that, Carrick was drafted 144th overall by the team in 2010.

Carrick was not listed in our pre-season Top 20 Leafs Prospects rankings, coming in as an honourable mention (I had him at 12th, don’t look at me).

Good Move?

Absolutely. After an abysmal start to the year, where he put up just four points in his first seventeen games, Carrick has rebounded with twelve in his past fourteen. It’s not all about production, though; Carrick plays a style that fits what Toronto is looking for in a bottom six centre. He’s a strong skater, creates a lot of shot volume, is a strong back-checker, and isn’t afraid to be a pest, throw his body around, or even drop the gloves. 

Lineup Changes

Peter Horachek and Steve Spott have wasted no time in shaking up the lineup, which makes you wonder how much Randy Carlyle may have been holding their ideas back. Carrick will be centreing the fourth line, but just take a look at the rest of the setup:

Daniel Winnik – Nazem Kadri – Phil Kessel

James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Mike Santorelli

Leo Komarov – Trevor Smith – David Clarkson

Richard Panik – Sam Carrick – Greg McKegg

Yeah, just a little bit different. It’ll be interesting to see how that top line works out, particularly if they stick with it for a few games.

Photo Courtesy of Christian Bonin / TSGPhoto.com

  • I was at the game you pictured! It was fun only because my I brought my 3 year old. He loves it.

    As for the lines, it’s great to see… and you hit the nail on the head. One has to wonder what Spott and Horachek have been suggesting and what’s ignored.

    I also read that they’ve already changed the D zone coverage to protect the middle of the ice ala The Boston Bruins. It’ll be an interesting show tonight to see if any of these changes are actually followed.

    Also… I like Carrick. He’s a potential full time bottom six player so it’s nice to see him up and a chance to prove himself again.

  • Keep these lines together for a while, slot Holland back in to the third line when he’s ready, and we should see if the current roster of forwards is viable. I really like it. Great first move by Horachek and a sensible move by the team to promote a Marlie prospect that is playing well.

  • Overnight most of us are feeling a lot more positive. I agree completely—I doubt Randy listened to Horachuk as he also failed to do what what Shanahan and the rest of management had asked of him. Even when play and possession improved and shots against went down–when we saw a glimmer of what could be–Randy went right back to his 3 line system, his old lines, even older methods and once again blamed his failure on “compete”. I think even Spott will benefit from Horachuk’s newer approach. Learning from Carlyle was hardly in his best interest.

  • I am actually quite excited about tonight’s game and the rest of the season. Why?

    Steve Spott!

    He is a former OHL, World Junior coach and coach of the Marlies.

    He will play and develop the young guys and he will be loyal and reward his Marlie guys. Right away, one of his favorites, Sam Carrick comes up.

    Maybe Brown gets a sniff. Maybe Kozun or even Abbott gets a chance