Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leafs Prospect Update: Carter Ashton

Leafs General Manager recently acquired Carter Ashton at the NHL trade deadline in exchange for defensemen Keith Aulie. Both players have been playing in the AHL this season. While it is sad to say good-bye to Aulie, a big defensive defenseman lets meet the new guy. Leaf fans, get to know Carter Ashton.

Ashton was drafted in the first round of the NHL entry draft by Tampa Bay with the 29th pick. He is a 6’2” and 205 Lbs power forward with good upside.

Born in 1991 in Winnipeg Manitoba he is the son of former NHL player Brent Ashton who played 998 career games with nine teams. Ashton played his junior hockey in the WHL with three teams for career totals of 181 points in 239 games. Ashton also played for Canada in the 2011 World Junior Championship winning the Silver Medal and scoring three points in seven games. This season Ashton has been playing with the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL. He has played 56 games and has 19 goals, and 16 assists for 35 points.

Ashton is a very big and physical forward who is capable of playing either wing. Ashton has a good hockey IQ in both offensive instincts to drive to the net, and in defensive responsibilities. Ashton has a heavy wrist shot and plays a power game, using his size and strength to his advantage. Ashton projects to become a top nine forward and potentially a second line power forward if he can develop his offense.

Rick Dudley of the Leafs management spoke to Leafs TV after acquiring Ashton

Guy Boucher head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning had this to say about Carter Ashton

Ashton will stay in the AHL with the Toronto Marlies who are leading their division with 68 points and are hopeful for a long playoff run, and that Ashton will be a key contributor and gain valuable experience. There was speculation that Ashton may make the Tampa roster out of his first training camp. He did not, but he did make a significant impression on and is considered to be a can’t miss prospect.

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