The Nashville Predators and GM David Poile made a roster move earlier today by re-signing defenseman Alexandre Carrier to a new contract.
This three-year contract for Carrier might give a clue to what the Nashville Predators plan to do with their defensive makeup going into next season. They have some things to sort out, most notably on their third defensive pairing.
The details, per the Nashville Predators website, on the three-year contract includes $700,000 on the NHL level in the first year, and goes up to $750,000 in the second and third year on the NHL level in the two-way contract.
Carrier was originally drafted by the Predators in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, but has only played in five NHL games since then.
It’s been a gradual development for Carrier on the AHL level with the Milwaukee Admirals, but there’s definitely reason for high optimism that he’s ready to take on a more full-time role at the next level.
Important piece in Milwaukee
Carrier has really thrived in Milwaukee and produced on a high level for them. But making that jump to the NHL isn’t usually an easy thing to do. Patience is usually required, and that’s been the case with Carrier.
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There was a big spike in his offensive production during this current season with the Admirals. Despite the season being possibly cut short, Carrier still produced the best numbers of his career.
At only age 23, Carrier has plenty of time left to take that next jump into the NHL. He needs more consistent playing time to really see if he’s ready to take on that next step in his professional career.
What I really like about Carrier’s game is he gets involved on offense. He’s not flashy by any means, but he distributes the puck very well and has done that for four-straight seasons now with Milwaukee with 121 assists in 276 games.
Not bad for a former fourth-round pick that still should have the prime of his career way ahead of him.
Roster spot up for grabs
There’s never really been more room to make a splash on the Predators roster as a defenseman than right now. With the likely departures of Yannick Weber and Dan Hamhuis upcoming, there’s going to be a spot available for a player like Carrier.
I thought Carrier should’ve gotten more playing time on the NHL level this past season with that third pairing struggling so badly from multiple players coming up short.
This deal tells me that GM David Poile is pretty confident in Carrier’s development and that he could be a realistic option on the third pairing next season. A three-year deal is nothing to scoff at.
It shouldn’t be any surprise at all if Carrier is on the starting roster in the season-opener of 2020-21. He deserves a decent opportunity to play several games and see what he can do on the bottom pairing.