Ryan Carter Establishing Himself As Member of the New Jersey Devils

Photo courtesy of Bruce Bennett / Getty Images

Photo courtesy of Bruce Bennett / Getty Images

By Kristin Tullo (@K_Tullo)

When Ryan Carter was claimed off of waivers in October 2011 by the New Jersey Devils, there were a lot of eyebrows raised and questions as to where the centerman would fit in. After all, it was a top-two line center the Devils needed in the absence of Travis Zajac and Jacob Josefson, who were both out with injuries. Carter was a third liner, at best, that didn’t even fit in with an average Florida team but he was about to show his new team that scoring his first two career goals at the Prudential Center against Martin Brodeur was just the tip of the iceberg for career firsts he would have in New Jersey.

After spending time in Carolina and Florida in 2010-2011, the Panthers signed the Minnesota native to a one-year contract. Seven games and six penalty minutes later , the Panthers put Carter, who at the time had 14 goals and 21 assists in his career, on waivers.

Having limited familiarity each other after a late trade from Carolina sent him to Florida, Carter and former Panther coach Pete DeBoer met up again in New Jersey.

In 65 games with New Jersey, Carter put up four goals and four assists while adding 32 penalty minutes. The addition of Stephen Gionta in the last game of the season completed the Devils’ fourth line which would help them go the distance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Playing on the bottom line, Carter pitched in on the Cup run with five goals and two assists, including the game winner in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers.

Killing penalties may have been what brought him here, but assisting on short handed goals is one of the many contributions that has kept him here. Finally finding his offensive upside, Carter hit the ten point mark with a goal against the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday night, surpassing his career-high nine points which he reached twice as a part of the Anaheim Ducks. The goal was his third of the season and seventh as a New Jersey Devil, giving him half the amount of goals in 87 regular-season  games with New Jersey as he had in his 189 NHL games as a member of the Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers. To add to his list of firsts, Carter also strung together his first three-game point streak from January 31-Feb 3rd where he had one goal and three assists. He would do it again from March 2-March 5th after missing four games due to a concussion, tallying four assists in three consecutive games.

The questions surrounding the claim on Ryan Carter are long gone, as Carter signed through the end of the the 2013-2014 season following his successful season in 2011-2012 with New Jersey.

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