Connor Carrick’s strong play this season for the Hershey Bears is finally being rewarded.
The Caps recalled the 21-year-old defenseman on Thursday, re-assigning Aaron Ness to the Bears. Ness was recalled by the Caps on Dec. 6 after defenseman Karl Alzner was injured. Alzner missed only one practice and did not miss a game, leaving Ness as a healthy scratch during his five games with the Caps.
Carrick has 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) and 32 penalty minutes in 26 games with the Bears this season. He ranks second among AHL defensemen in goals and second on the Bears in points, tied for second in plus/minus (plus-5) and third in goals. He has scored five goals in his last six games and is the only AHL defenseman to record a shootout-winning goal this season.
In 112 career AHL games with Hershey, Carrick has 61 points (16 goals, 45 assists) and 179 penalty minutes.
In 34 career games with the Caps, Carrick has one goal and five assists and 23 penalty minutes. The 5-foot-11, 194-pounder made his NHL debut on Oct. 1, 2013 at Chicago and scored his first NHL goal on Oct. 3, 2013 against Calgary. Carrick was drafted by the Capitals in the fifth round (137th overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft.
Ness, 25, has nine assists and 12 penalty minutes in 29 games with the Bears this season. He appeared in 74 games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers last season and led the club’s defensemen in points and assists. Ness set career highs in goals (8), assists (37) and points (45) and ranked sixth among all AHL defensemen in scoring last season.
He has earned three points (one goal, two assists) and 12 penalty minutes in 29 career NHL games with the New York Islanders, who drafted him in the second round (40th overall) in the 2008 NHL Draft.