connor-carrick

The Washington Capitals had two selections in the first round of the 2012 draft. They had the 11th pick, received from the Colorado Avalanche as part of the Semyon Varlamov deal, and the 16th pick. Entering that weekend, many general managers talked about how top-heavy the draft was with talented defensemen. In fact, eight of the top ten picks were rearguards, which allowed the Capitals to draft the best European skater in the draft, Filip Forsberg at number eleven. Five picks later, they also selected Tom Wilson, who made the team out of training camp this season.

In the fifth round, the Capitals selected their first defenseman of the day (and one of three overall), the 5’11” Connor Carrick, out of the United States National Team Development Program. 46 defensemen were selected before Carrick was snatched up at pick 137. A lot of people had never heard of him at that point.

Funny. A full year later, Carrick is a household name among Caps fans and was the first defenseman out of the 2012 draft to play in the NHL — by about 40 minutes.

The Winnipeg Jets’ Jacob Trouba, selected 9th overall, made his NHL debut on Tuesday, October 1st as well, but because of the time difference, the Jets didn’t drop the puck that night until 9:07 PM EST. Carrick took the ice with the Capitals at 8:28 PM EST– after a lengthy delay for the Chicago Blackhawks to celebrate their Stanley Cup-winning 2012-13 season.

Seven defensemen from the 2012 draft have made their NHL debuts thus far this year: Carrick, Trouba, Ryan Murray (the second overall selection by the Columbus Blue Jackets), Morgan Rielly (selected 5th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs), Hampus Lindolm (selected 6th overall by the Anaheim Ducks), Mathew Dumba (selected 7th overall by the Minnesota Wild), and Olli Maatta (drafted 22nd overall selection by the Pittsburgh Penguins).

Griffin Reinhart (selected 4th overall by the New York Islanders) is also expected to make his debut soon.

The only thing Carrick can’t hold over every defenseman from this draft so far is being the first defenseman to score a goal and point. Jacob Trouba scored in his first game Tuesday night.

Carrick would be the second, scoring two days later against the Calgary Flames — his second NHL game as a pro. At least he can take some solace in the fact that he was the first 2012 drafted defenseman to be pie’d. He is also the only 2012-drafted player selected outside the first round who has played in the NHL so far.

How big of an accomplishment is this? Below are photos of all the defensemen picked before Carrick on June 22nd and 23rd of 2012. Give yourself approximately 10 minutes to scroll through this list. How many of these guys will never play an NHL game? How many of these guys will be in the NHL five years from now? Hint: Not many.

Just consider that Seth Jones, the number four overall pick of the 2013 draft, was the first defenseman selected and the first dman to make his NHL debut from that class. That’s how it’s supposed to work.

2nd Overall, Columbus Blue Jackets Ryan Murray

defenseman-no2

4th Overall, New York Islanders Griffin Reinhart

defenseman-no4

5th Overall, Toronto Maple Leafs Morgan Rielly

defenseman-no5

6th Overall, Anaheim Ducks Hampus Lindholm

defenseman-no6

7th Overall, Minnesota Wild Mathew Dumba

defenseman-no7

8th Overall, Pittsburgh Penguins Derrick Pouliot

defenseman-no8

[barf]

9th Overall, Winnipeg Jets Jacob Trouba

2012 NHL Entry Draft - Portraits

10th Overall, Tampa Bay Lightning Slater Koekkoek

defenseman-no10

15th Overall, Ottawa Senators Cody Ceci

defenseman-no15

22nd Overall, Pittsburgh Penguins Olli Maatta

defenseman-no22

[barfs again]

23rd Overall, Florida Panthers Michael Matheson

defenseman-no23

25th Overall, St. Louis Blues Jordan Schmaltz

defenseman-no25

28th Overall, New York Rangers Brady Skjei

defenseman-no28

34th Overall, New York Islanders Ville Pokka

defenseman-no34

35th Overall, Toronto Maple Leafs Matthew Finn

defenseman-no35

40th Overall, Tampa Bay Lightning Dylan Blujus

defenseman-no40

42nd Overall, Calgary Flames Patrick Sieloff

defenseman-no42

43rd Overall, Dallas Stars Ludwig Bystrom

defenseman-no43

44th Overall, Buffalo Sabres Jake McCabe

defenseman-no44

48th Overall, Chicago Blackhawks Dillon Fournier

defenseman-no48

51th Overall, Montreal Canadiens Dalton Thrower

2012 NHL Entry Draft - Portraits

60th Overall, New Jersey Devils Damon Severson

defenseman-no60

65th Overall, New York Islanders Adam Pelech

defenseman-no65

68th Overall, Minnesota Wild John Draeger

defenseman-no68

74th Overall, Dallas Stars Esa Lindell

defenseman-no74

78th Overall, Philadelphia Flyers Shayne Gostisbehere

defenseman-no78

85th Overall, Boston Bruins Matthew Grzelcyk

defenseman-no85

86th Overall, St. Louis Blues Colton Parayko

defenseman-no86

88th Overall, Phoenix Coyotes James Melindy

defenseman-no88

93rd Overall, Edmonton Oilers Erik Gustafsson

defenseman-no93

102nd Overall, Phoenix Coyotes Rhett Holland

defenseman-no102

103rd Overall, New York Islanders Loic Leduc

defenseman-no103

dude.

105th Overall, Calgary Flames Brett Kulak

defenseman-no105

106th Overall, Ottawa Senators Timothy Boyle

defenseman-no106

108th Overall, Anaheim Ducks Andrew O’Brien

defenseman-no108

111th Overall, Philadelphia Flyers Fredric Larsson

2012 NHL Entry Draft - Rounds 2-7

115th Overall, Carolina Hurricanes Trevor Carrick

defenseman-no115

116th Overall, St. Louis Blues Nicholas Walters

defenseman-no116

118th Overall, Nashville Predators Mikko Vainonen

defenseman-no118

119th Overall, New York Rangers Calle Andersson

defenseman-no119

120th Overall, Carolina Hurricanes Jaccob Slavin

defenseman-no120

123rd Overall, Edmonton Oilers Joey Laleggia

defenseman-no123

124th Overall, Calgary Flames Ryan Culkin

defenseman-no124

125th Overall, New York Islanders Doyle Somerby

defenseman-no125

127th Overall, Anaheim Ducks Brian Cooper

defenseman-no127

128th Overall, Minnesota Wild Daniel Gunnarsson

defenseman-no128

137th Overall, Washington Capitals Connor Carrick

connor-carrick-interview

“Yeah, I leapfrogged all of these guys.”

Additional reporting and stats from Fedor Fedin.

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  • BPThomas

    I don’t want people to take this the wrong way, but isn’t it more realistic that our blue line is so sparse with talent after our top 3 that we had to throw Carrick into the lineup? What happened to Kundratek and Orlov? And where is Urbom now? I think his goal was more of Ramo not letting the Flames know that he was coming out of the box (that said, the finish was slick). I just haven’t been sufficiently impressed with him that I think he should be in the lineup. Not to say it isn’t an impressive feat, but why is it necessary? Someone make me feel better.

  • Andrew Pang

    Jesus, how about Mario with that molester look on his face in Pouliot’s photo?

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    Haha. I’m not sure I can, but let me clarify a few things: 1) This isn’t a post praising Carrick’s play since debuting in the NHL. He’s certainly made some rookie mistakes defensively and he must stop taking a minor penalty per game.) 2) You have to give him credit for out-playing Orlov and Kundratek in the preseason. I love those two dudes, but Carrick was better. He also beat out Tyson Strachan, Cam Schilling, and Nate Schmidt. 3) Who is on the roster now should not take away from his accomplishment. He made the roster of a division champion team that is doing the opposite of rebuilding.

    So while you may not be impressed with his play (and that’s okay), you still should be impressed by his fast development. He may not stay on the Caps all year (especially if they struggle), but he could stay, and he is on the team now and that deserves our appreciation.

  • yv

    That’s show ability of Caps scouts to find something in late rounds.

    But for fun, maybe Ian and RMNB again on slippery ice here (like Caps the healthiest article before Laich (and Kuzya) injury)! I afraid that now after this article Carrick, who is the first Dman on NHL ice, would be the first to be sent down ?!?

  • BPThomas

    Totally made me feel better. I am definitely impressed with his development.