Daniel Carr is the latest IceCap to join Michel Therrien's Test Group. During the past few weeks we've witnessed a lot of movement between the St. John's IceCaps and the Montreal Canadiens in and attempt to help fill in the blanks of a depleted lineup.
Joining the likes of Bud Holloway, Sven Andrighetto, Christian Thomas, Dustin Tokarski, and Zachary Fucale who have been on the active roster this season, Carr will be hoping to make his NHL debut after being called up on November 29th.
With upwards of 10 teams expressing interest in signing him, the Canadiens called dibs when they identified him as the one college free agent they wanted last year. He was a prime candidate to help fill an offensive need when they signed him to an entry-level contract on April 24, 2014.
Fresh off an NCAA championship with Union College, Carr went straight into a tremendous first season of professional hockey with the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2014-15. In 76 games he earned 39 points, leading his team with 24 goals and 15 assists.
The left winger was ready to prove he was all-in, when he was assigned to the new Montreal Canadiens' AHL affiliate, the St. John's IceCaps, for the 2015-16 season. From the home opener against the Rochester Americans on October 16th, to October 24th when he opened the scoring against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at just 1:34, Carr held the record for the longest point streak in the AHL at six games (3G, 3A).
In addition to Carr's natural scoring ability, the consensus is that his attitude, character, and willingness to take punishment to get into a prime scoring position are the traits that will get him to the NHL. Sound familiar? These are the same characteristics that have him compared by many to another Canadiens player: Brendan Gallagher. A comparison he considers a high honor.
"Doing little things, like going to the hard areas, makes big things start to happen," he said earlier this year, and that was evident in November. Starting with being named the IceCaps' Hardest Working Player on October 31st against the Hershey Bears, he continued to contribute to his team from there.
On November 6th, he scored the lone goal in a 4-1 loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Gabriel Dumont secured the team a 4-3 victory in a four-round shootout.. The next night, he tied the game with 2:56 left in regulation, forcing the game into overtime, where
During a busy weekend on November 27-29, Carr added three goals and a pair of assists to his tally. He kicked things off in the first game of a six-game road trip against the Americans, notching a goal in a comeback from a 2-0 deficit, though they ended up losing 4-3.
In Toronto the next night, Carr scored an empty-net goal with 26 seconds left in regulation to extend the lead for the IceCaps, gaining two points against the division-topping Marlies. To end the three-in-three set, he scored a goal to help the IceCaps run their point streak to eight games, beating the Marlies 5-3.
Immediately after Sunday evening's game in Toronto, Carr earned his first NHL call up and was on the ice for practice the following morning in Brossard.
"I was pretty excited," Carr said. "It's my first time [in the NHL], so it's kind of nice."
Though Carr has yet to make that exciting NHL debut, there's still hope that the 24-year-old will have the opportunity to show his skills on the ice with the Canadiens.
In the meantime, how is Carr feeling having the chance to sit in the Canadiens' locker room? "It's pretty cool. It's pretty humbling."