A pillar of consistency, Carter is one of just 10 skaters to post at least 20 goals, 50 points and 200 shots in each of the past four seasons. He's also coming off his best showing (32 goals and 66 points) since his final year in Philadelphia in 2010-11. Carter clearly isn't showing any signs of slowing down offensively and still owns the skating ability, size and scoring acuity to continue producing solid numbers despite advancing into his mid-30s. The veteran is often under-appreciated in many fantasy circles, but Carter's reliability and go-to role with the Kings shouldn't be overlooked.
Turning 30 didn’t slow Carter down one bit – he turned in his second straight 62-point season last year despite missing five games. The veteran pivot actually launched 24 more shots on goal than the year before, and there’s no arguing that he’s still one of the most dangerous weapons for the Kings, surpassed only by Anze Kopitar and perhaps the rising young Tyler Toffoli. Still smack in the middle of the absurdly long 11-year deal the Flyers signed him to in 2010, Carter’s locked into his role in Los Angeles, as the organization has no one coming to push him at the center position. He could hit 60 points again, but it depends to some degree on his linemates; if he ends up with fading veteran Marian Gaborik on his right wing, serious damage could be done to Carter’s fantasy value.
Carter now finds himself on the wrong side of 30, but that doesn’t mean that he’s slowing down. In fact, he had one of the best statistical seasons of his career in 2014-15, scoring 28 goals and tallying 34 assists, both of which were his best totals since his final season in Philadelphia. An even better sign for Carter was that he played in all 82 games for the first time since 2008-09. While he may not be a 30-goal scorer anymore, Carter remains one of the top scoring options on the Kings. His 10 power-play goals and nearly 18 minutes of average ice time make him a valuable contributor in the Kings’ top-six and top power-play units, and that holds true for fantasy owners as well.
Carter was second on the Kings in points (50), goals (27) and power play goals (8), trailing only Anze Kopitar in all three categories. His strong play continued on in the playoffs and he's settled in nicely as the Kings No. 2 center. He figures to spend most of his time skating alongside a pair of talented playmakers in Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli on "That 70s Line" while also seeing plenty of power play time. A repeat performance of 2013-14 is certainly in the cards.
Carter's first full season in Los Angeles certainly went better than his time in Columbus as he netted 26 goals in 48 games, a tally that was good enough for fourth in the NHL. His overall point production wasn't helped much with just seven assists though. An abnormally high shooting percentage (19.5 percent last year; 11.5 percent for his career) will make a repeat performance in the goal-scoring department difficult. Expect a drop off.
Carter escaped Columbus in a trade deadline deal last year and while he didn't put up huge numbers (six goals and three assists) for the Kings in 16 regular-season games, he did notch eight tallies in the team's run to the Stanley Cup. An ankle injury slowed his integration into the Kings lineup so perhaps a full season skating alongside close friend Mike Richards will help him recapture the form he flashed as a Flyer.
The trade out of Philly was a shocker, both for Carter and for Flyers fans, but in Columbus he has an opportunity to carve out his own legacy. He's never had a linemate like Rick Nash, and the Blue Jackets' power play will be at least competent with Carter and James Wisniewski on board, so last year's totals of 36 goals and 66 points (also his four-season averages) should easily be repeatable. Going from a perennial Cup contender to a perennial also-ran can be tough, but Carter has the skills to flourish provided he can adapt to his new environment.
After having the best year of his young career in 2008-09, Carter's number took a dip across the board last season, thanks largely to a foot injury that hampered him throughout the spring. He missed just nine regular season games because of his broken foot, but wasn't the same player as the Flyers marched towards the Stanley Cup Finals. He was able to play in Philly's loss to Chicago, and now he's had a full offseason to get well, indicating he should be good to go for the upcoming campaign. Carter is a major cog to the Flyers' success as evidenced in his plus-26 rating in Philly wins against a minus-26 rating in losses. Getting the 25-year old to produce in a night in, night out basis will obviously be an emphasis to both Carter and the team all season long. With the young talent around Carter in Philadelphia, bet on him bouncing back to something close to the '08-'09 numbers.
A little bit of a surprise with 46 goals in 2008-09, Carter ranked second in goals in the NHL and 12th in points with 84. Carter will see great ice time and opportunity to shine on the top line with the Flyers. There might be some drop-off in the goal department but you can count on Carter reaching the same level of points for the 2009-10 season. Carter also is very resourceful for fantasy owners in other categories including finishing 20th in the league in plus-minus, first in game-winning goals and fourth in both shots on goal and short-handed goals.
Carter scored 29 goals last season and was rewarded with a three-year contract to join a number of his fellow young Flyer forwards locked in for the foreseeable future. He's steadily improved over each of his three seasons, although his production was inconsistent at times last year. Look for Carter to play a more prominent role this season, which should translate to more ice time and bigger numbers across the board.
Carter has an array of different shots and good hand-eye coordination. At his current level of play, he's already a responsible defensive player, a good face-off man, and a strong forechecker. Even though he's on the second line after Daniel Briere, look for him to have a lot of assists and hit 50 points this season.
Carter had a good rookie season and will only improve in his second year. Carter could approach 30 goals and 70 points this year.
The Flyers' blue chipper has his coming out party this year. Coach Ken Hitchcock plans on using Carter on a line with Simon Gagne and Peter Forsberg - if this line sticks throoughout the season, a 70 point output by Carter should be realistic.