Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Carson & Rodney Re-Sign

Brett Carson and Bryan Rodney, arguably the River Rats' two top D-men last season, have re-signed with the Hurricanes. The highly-valued prospects have both agreed to one-year, two-way deals. Carson will return for his fourth year with the organization, Rodney for his third.

Brett Carson
(Photo by Jennifer Bock)

Carson, 23, originally of Regina, Saskatchewan, is an all-around physical defenseman that plays well in both ends. The 2004 fourth-round Carolina draft pick is known for quickly breaking down the opposition's offense and efficiently moving the puck up the ice.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound natural born blue-liner also has a knack for finding the net and getting deflections. Carson tallied 150 shots on goal last year, more than most of the forwards and good for fourth highest on the team.

In three seasons with the Rats, Carson has skated in a total of 221 games. He has accumulated 11 goals and 72 assists.

According to the website Hockey's Future, which keeps track of developing players, Carson could be the "most valuable" Carolina defensive prospect next season because he "brings the size and defense-first mentality the team may need to replace in their lineup in 2009-10. Not only that, but [in 2008-09] Carson continued to develop his offensive game. He finished the year with six goals and 29 assists in 69 games with Albany. He was pointless in five games with Carolina, but proved to be reliable in his own end."

Bryan Rodney
(Photo by Deebee)

Bryan Rodney, another all-around solid D-man with a bit more offensive skill, has played a total of 107 games in two seasons with the River Rats. The six-foot-tall, 200-pound native of London, Ontario led the Rats' defense last year in scoring and assists, earning 36 points (3 G, 33 A) in 58 games.

Rodney, 25, was called up for eight contests with Carolina last season and earned his first two NHL points (including this one). Hockey's Future comments: "His puck skills and vision translated to the NHL, where in eight games he exhibited his ability to move the puck and a serviceable defensive game."

Rodney was first picked up by the Hurricanes in 2007. He spent the previous two-and-a-half seasons bouncing around the ECHL. He had only played in eight AHL contests prior to joining the River Rats. Now he is considered NHL potential.

“Brett and Bryan both made tremendous strides last season,” said Hurricanes' VP and assistant GM Jason Karmanos. “They will both have a chance to push for a spot on the Hurricanes roster this fall.”

Bryan Rodney could end up in Carolina as early as October. According to Hockey's Future,
Hurricanes' GM Jim Rutherford "all but assured Rodney a spot on the roster next season, saying his play while in Raleigh was good enough that he’d have to play his way out of a job in 2009-10."

But getting called up won't necessarily mean a spot in the starting line-up. The Hurricanes recently picked up defenseman Andrew Alberts, filling the sixth space on their defensive depth chart.

Although the Canes may still buy out defenseman Frantisek Kaberle, which would open up another space, Carson and Rodney will have to fight hard for a full-time gig.


D-Mark Flood, F-Jakub Petruzalek, F-Dwight Helminen

G-Justin Peters, D-Casey Borer, D-Bryan Rodney, D-Brett Carson, F-Mike Angelidis, F-Pat Dwyer, F-Michael Ryan

UNRESTRICTED: G-Daniel Manzato, F-Trevor Gillies, F-Joe Jensen, F-Noah Babin

NEW SIGNINGS: G-Mike Murphy, D-Jamie McBain, D-Jay Harrison, D-Zack Fitzgerald, F-Zach Boychuk, F-Steven Goertzen, F-Chris Terry, F-Matthew Pistilli, F-Drayson Bowman (2008)