Weight: 200 pounds
Date of birth: February 1, 2001
Hometown: Carp, Ontario
OHL Draft: Round 4, 78th overall, 2017 Priority Selection
NHL Central Scouting Rankings: Pre-season, November: B Prospect. Mid-term: 51st North America
I’ll be honest. When NHL Central Scouting released its Players to Watch List during the preseason and again in November and they listed Joe Carroll as a B prospect, which is regarded as a second or third round pick, I had no issue with that. But when they released their mid-term rankings and I saw him 51st among North American skaters, I felt that was too high.
Now, you look at the recently released final rankings from Central Scouting, they list Carroll at 101 overall among North American Skaters. That may just be the biggest “over-correction” they have done, putting him in the top handful of fallers from the Ontario Hockey League draft class.
After posting a league leading 33 goals and 51 points in 29 games for the Ottawa Valley Titans Bantam AAA squad during the 2015-2016 season, Carroll went on to join the CP Canadians Minor Midget AAA squad for the 2016-2017 season. He appeared in 45 games and tallied 18 goals and 21 assists. He would add two goals in four playoff games and two goals and a helper at the OHL Cup.
The following season, Carroll broke onto the Greyhounds roster and played in 53 games scoring 9 goals and assisting on 9 to go along with 26 penalty minutes. During the Greyhounds playing run to the League Finals he would add 1 goal and 3 helpers in 24 games.
Carroll would also represent Canada at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17.
This season Carroll appeared in 65 games scoring 9 goals and 22 assists while adding 2 goals and 1 assist in 8 playoff games. Carroll accumulated 71 minutes in penalties on the season, second only to Navrin Mutter of the Hamilton Bulldogs among draft eligible players.
Carroll’s 9 goals on the season came from firing 147 shots on goal for a 6.1 shooting percentage. He was most dangerous from the high danger zone areas at 12.5%. He shot just 5.7% and 4.8% from the mid and low danger zone areas respectively. On the faceoff dot Carroll was 269 for 605 or 44.5%.
Carroll is an interesting player to watch. He has size, strength and possesses a powerful long skating stride. He has shown that he has the ability to use those assets to be an effective forechecker, dominate the walls and be a force in front of the opposition net. His puck protection skills are above average and he is very effective playing the cycle game. What has been lacking is showing consistency, not just game-to-game but sometimes from shift-to-shift. But he’s raw and that consistency can come as he matures.
As mentioned, Carroll has a long, powerful skating stride. But it is a somewhat awkward stride that prevents him from developing more speed. Skating isn’t the concern to me it was even just a handful of years ago. Coaching has improved and there are more and more excellent skating coaches that Carroll can take advantage of. If he is willing to take on the challenge, the opportunities are there. I wouldn’t bet against him.
Faceoffs are an area that he needs to put more work into if he continues to play down the middle. However, I think his game will better translate at the next level if he were converted to wing, a position he has played.
Carroll also won’t overpower goaltenders with his shot. He has good hands and can be dangerous in tight. But his goal production has disappointed most watchers this season, not what you want in a draft year. That’s said, he did show that he has some intriguing playmaking skills.
In the end, I think Carroll projects as a third line winger at the NHL level that will chip in with some offence at best. The worst-case scenario sees him as a fourth line energy guy who can provide energy and bring a physical component to a team.