Nashville Predators: What To Do With Alexandre Carrier

(Photo by Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Alexandre Carrier came into the pre-season as the Nashville Predators best defensive prospect. But he is now in the AHL after a lackluster few games.

Good defensive prospects don’t exactly grow on trees, unless you’re the Nashville Predators. The Predators have a seemingly endless pool of defensive studs chomping at the bit to make the big league. Although this year was a little peculiar. Everyone, including myself, thought that Alexandre Carrier was going to be the one who impressed and made the jump. But alas, here we are. Samuel Girard noticeably surpassed Carrier to survive till at least the last cut. And personally, I think Girard will stay with the Predators until his nine games are up.

For those who don’t know, an entry-level contract (ELC) allows for a skater to play in nine (9) games without burning a year of his contract. So it’s tempting to for the Predators to play Girard for nine games and then send him down to junior, seeing as he’s not eligible for the AHL. But that’s for another time. This is a Carrier focused article, after all.

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Anyways, Carrier is now at best second on the depth chart, although Jack Dougherty looked pretty good too. Plus Dante Fabbro is playing like a stud in the NCAA and could be in the AHL as early as this April. So where does that leave Carrier? He still looks like a future top-four defenseman, but maybe just not for the Predators.

Hang onto Carrier

This path is easily the safest route. Let Carrier develop and give him time on the third pair once Girard leaves for junior, assuming Girard goes back to junior or makes opening night. I do think that Carrier deserves a spot over the likes of Yannick Weber and Anthony Bitetto. But that’s just because I always favor a potential top four over a known (barely) seventh defenseman. Letting Carrier spend time with the Nashville Predators for a few games here and there would do him a lot of good. Plus he’ll make a great band-aid if another player goes down.

Nashville fans will fall in love with him as he seems to be the handsome French-Canadian love child of Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis. He’s a good shot suppressor like Ekholm and he’s a good point generator like Ellis. Although he doesn’t stand out in either category like they do.

Trade Carrier

It’s easy for me to sit here on my computer and talk about how a player should be traded. But in reality, there’s no real destination as of now. The Nashville Predators seem to not be in trade discussions for Matt Duchene anymore and there aren’t many centers being shopped in the NHL at the moment. Plus Carrier’s stock is fairly low, and he costs next to nothing to have on the roster. So it actually makes sense for the Nashville Predators to develop him and trade him at his highest value. If that’s what the Predators want to do.

My Opinion

Now, onto the real reason people read my articles, that was sarcasm in case people couldn’t tell. In my personal opinion, the Predators should hang onto Carrier. He wouldn’t fetch appropriate value now just because his stock is low. He’s unproven at the NHL level, and while his numbers at the AHL level are promising, they’re not dominant. David Poile will do the smart thing and let Carrier get some NHL time this season while sheltering him a bit.

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Alexandre Carrier will be a wonderul top four player in the NHL one day, I’m just not sure if it’ll be for the Nashville Predators.