Gulls Top Performers: Sam CarrickNov 12, 2020
SanDiegoGulls.com provides an in depth look at the team’s top performers from the 2019-20 season. The five-part player review series highlights key stats and moments from the past season.
By Joe Spurrier/SanDiegoGulls.com
Sam Carrick is a staple of the San Diego Gulls, a bona fide top performer for the organization.
Since the Anaheim Ducks acquired him from the Chicago Blackhawks on Mar. 1, 2017, Carrick assumed a leadership role on and off the ice. Within his first few weeks behind the bench, Gulls head coach Kevin Dineen quickly came to appreciate these leadership tendencies, both in the locker room and throughout the community. On October 18, 2019 - just prior to the team's home opener - Dineen gathered the team at center ice during morning skate and named Carrick the third captain in club history.
“Being named captain is a huge honor,” said Carrick. “We are a team, and everyone needs to be a leader, not just those who wear a letter on their sweater. It is a privilege to play for San Diego and in front of our fans, and we don’t take the impact we are able to have on the community for granted. I’m excited for the future of the organization and this is a responsibility I don’t take lightly.”
The leadership position is nothing new for Carrick.
The center previously served as an alternate captain with San Diego, and spent the 2011-12 season with the 'C' on his sweater in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). These previous experiences helped prepare him for his role, and he let his play guide the team.
The newly-appointed captain posted yet another remarkable season, earning 23-20=43 points with a +27 rating and 40 PIM last season, becoming the first Gull to score 20 goals in back-to-back seasons. Carrick also led San Diego in scoring, goals, plus/minus, shorthanded goals (4), shots (144), co-led in power-play goals (5), and ranked second in assists (29).
His +27 rating also led all AHL forwards and ranked second among all skaters.
After going winless in its first six games, Carrick became an integral part of turning the season around, as the Gulls captain helped lead San Diego to seven wins in eight games (7-1-0-0) from Nov. 1-16, 2019. Over that span, the Markham, Ontario native recorded 10 points (8G/2A) and a +11 rating, including three game-winning goals, two power-play goals and two shorthanded goals.
In the midst of the impressive stretch of games, Carrick faced off against his younger brother Trevor in a Pacific Division showdown against the San Jose Barracuda on Nov. 13, 2019. With their parents in attendance for the matchup, the Gulls captain recorded the first hat trick on home ice in club history (3-0=3, +2), powering the Gulls to a 9-3 win.
“Sam is a responsible player and is a good example for a lot of our guys, young and old, and he plays the game the correct way,” said Dineen following that Nov. 13 game. “He takes care of business in his zone, he’s big on faceoffs and strong on the penalty kill, so he does a lot of the little areas of the game well. When you do that sometimes you get rewarded, so it was good to see that happen tonight with the hat trick.”
The Ducks took notice of his strong November, and Carrick earned a call-up to the NHL club on Dec. 7, 2019. He appeared in nine NHL games with Anaheim last season, collecting a goal and assist over that span. On Dec. 21, 2019, Carrick ripped a shot past New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov on the penalty kill for first career shorthanded goal and his first goal as a Duck.
Carrick returned to San Diego on Jan. 2 and picked up right where he left off. Just prior to his December stint with Anaheim, Carrick recorded two goals (2-0=2, +2) in his last game with San Diego against Tucson, Nov. 30, 2019. Upon his return, the captain scored goals in five consecutive games to mark a career-high six-game goal streak (8-2=10, +10), tying for the longest AHL goal streak in 2019-20.
With two more six-game point streaks on the season, Feb. 19 - 29 (2-5=7, +4) and Jan. 24 - Feb. 7 (2-5=7, +3), Carrick became the only AHL player to record four separate six-game point streaks, including the previous streaks from Nov. 30 - Jan. 11 (8-2=10) and Nov. 8 - 16 (7-2=9, +10).
Before the season came to an abrupt end due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Carrick collected points at an incredible pace, recording 29 in his final 29 games (15-14=29, +18) and 42 points his last 42 contests (23-19=42, +28).
His strong season - coupled with his leadership - earned him a one-year contract extension. His upcoming season will be his fifth consecutive season with the Ducks.