Days after signing Tristin Langan to an AHL contract, the San Jose Sharks made another depth-related move this morning, swapping defenseman Kyle Wood for Trevor Carrick of the Carolina Hurricanes. Carrick immediately signed a two-year contract with the Sharks following the trade, with the NHL cap hit pegged by CapFriendly at $700,000.
Carrick, a 6-foot-2, left-handed defenseman, has been a standout player on the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers for several years and was a major component of their Calder Cup win last year. Having scored 44 and 47 points over the last two AHL seasons, Carrick will likely inject an additional dose of offense into a Barracuda lineup that appears to sorely need it, having lost Francis Perron to the Canucks earlier in the offseason (to speak nothing of the possibility of losing several forwards to the NHL for stretches at a time).
Joe Will, General Manager of the San Jose Barracuda and Assistant General Manager for the Sharks, spoke glowingly of Carrick’s ability to create offense from the back, likely indicating the important role the defender will play on the Sharks’ AHL affiliate this year.
“Trevor is a hardworking competitor and we believe he can help our team create offense from the back-end,” said Sharks Assistant General Manager and San Jose Barracuda General Manager Joe Will. “He was a key piece of Charlotte’s Calder Cup-winning team last season and will be an excellent addition to our already deep blueline in San Jose. We also want to thank Kyle Wood for his contributions on and off the ice with the Barracuda.”
Wood, acquired from the Coyotes in 2018 for Adam Helewka, has not played a single NHL game in his entire career. Although he rebounded from a disappointing 2017-18 season to put up 35 points in 2018-19, Wood remained squarely behind Nick DeSimone and Jacob Middleton on the NHL depth chart, having been passed over for an NHL call-up in favor of both defenders during San Jose’s mid-March injury crisis. His underlying numbers also suggested an improvement, but Wood still struggles to skate at an NHL caliber and would be unlikely to move any further up the depth chart in San Jose. At 23 years old, time is likely running out for the hulking right-hander to crack an NHL club’s lineup.
While Carrick is two years older, he has already played in four NHL games and brings a fair bit of extra offense to the blue line. He may find himself initially behind Mario Ferraro and Dalton Prout for an NHL spot, competing with fellow defender Jacob Middleton for a call-up in case of injuries while logging heavy minutes for the Barracuda this season.
Ultimately, neither Wood nor Carrick project to have major roles as impact NHL players in the near future. However, San Jose has swapped an AHL defender for another, more productive AHL player with NHL experience.
It’s hard to see this trade as a negative from the club’s perspective.