Photo Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

2017-18 Leafs Season in Review: Connor Carrick

The best quote on the Toronto Maple Leafs – Connor Carrick, is in quite an interesting position heading into this offseason. As fans and media alike, search for the mysterious right-handed defenseman solution to all their problems, Carrick is still here and was unused in the first-round series against the Boston Bruins.

With the Leafs defensive struggles in that series, one has to wonder if Babcock ever thought about putting in the 24-year-old defenseman – but that’s all the in the past. So let’s look at the season Carrick did actually have.

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47 4 8 12 52.79 55.42

What else could you ask for a defenseman that only played two games where he had more than 20 minutes of ice-time? Especially when Carrick only averaged 18 second of powerplay time when he did get to play.

His shot-attempt and expected goal numbers were excellent throughout the entire season, but unfortunately that raw point total just isn’t there for every single fan to be putting Carrick in their early 2018-19 predicted lineup.

The 52.79 5v5 CF% was fourth on the entire team, and only second among defenseman behind boy-wonder Travis Dermott. In a similar place, his 55.42 5v5 xGF% was sixth among all skaters, and again just second behind Dermott when comparing Carrick among his blueline colleagues. Although when it comes to xGF%, Eric Fehr was second among all skaters – so making it a 200-minute floor, Carrick moves up to fourth, since Andreas Johnsson also had not played that many regular season minutes to really matter.

A very solid second or third-pairing defenseman that should not be overlooked for the upcoming Leafs season.

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Grade: B-

As I said before, what else could you really expect from Carrick? He made some bad turnovers and made some wrong decisions, but overall had a successful season in my eyes. I’m sure he wishes he played more and was able to show what the Leafs would look like with him playing a full season.

Fun Fact

Carrick loves his coffee. If you follow him on Instagram, you will be bombarded with different local Toronto coffee roasters. Important to add that he’s a fan of my favourite coffee in the whole entire world, Pilot Coffee Roasters. It’s simply the best.

He also has a dog named Hoagie.

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Season Highlight

It has to be this, right?

Scoring the game-winner against the unimportant Ottawa Senators with a sneaky little wrist shot from the point.

Also any highlight of him talking to Paul Hendrick this season – breaking the dumb hockey player interview tradition and actually saying something interesting.

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2018-19 Outlook

As minimal his contribution was this season, I still believe Carrick should remain a Leaf for the 2018-19 season. If the roster doesn’t change that much, Carrick should certianly be playing a bigger role and have no more 12-minute nights.

If something does happen, like a trade or big UFA signing, then I could see Carrick either being part of that trade or being shipped out to make room for the new players. I will be sad to see him go, but his potential is quite limited. But he might be yet another underused defenseman going to a new team and establishing himself as a top-4 blueliner in this league, a la Nate Schmidt.

As of now, he’s the Leafs best right-handed defenseman but that’s not saying much.

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  • Matmarwill

    I think carrick has to learn pk in order to get more stable playing time. Polak often took his spot in rhe lineup cuz he played a major pk role. You would think that the coaches could teach this able young right handed dman how to play this.

    From what i recall, carrick had a decent season with gardiner two seasons ago. Perhaps zaitsev should be third pairing with dermott or borgman (another young dman not to be given up on).

    Carrick may not be a hulking dman, but he is still young and has decent skills. The coaches should be able to mold this guy into a competent puckmoving dman who can play pk. Come on Babs, stop the blah blah and getter done.