GLENDALE – Greg Carey is expected to make his pro hockey debut only eight days after ending a stellar four-year collegiate career.
"I’m really excited to take the next step," Carey said Wednesday after signing a one-year entry-level deal with the Coyotes. "This is a dream come true for me."
Carey’s contract is for the 2014-15 season, but he will report to Phoenix’s American Hockey League team in Portland, Maine, and finish the season there under a Professional Tryout. Portland’s next game is Sunday at Bridgeport.
|Photo courtesy of |
Carey, a left-shot winger, notched 18 goals and 39 assists in 38 games this season at St. Lawrence University (Canton, NY). His 39 assists are tops in the country and he ranks second in the nation with 57 points. He finished his St. Lawrence career with 84 goals and 185 points. Those totals place fourth and third, respectively, on the school’s all-time goals and points lists.
"He’s got top-end offensive sense, he can shoot a puck and he’s just one of those guys who is around the net a lot," Coyotes Assistant General Manager Brad Treliving said. "He’s been a point producer and a goal scorer at every level he has played. Now he’s taking a big step into pro hockey. We’ll see how it translates."
Carey’s college career ended on Saturday after St. Lawrence lost to Colgate, 4-3, to conclude an ECAC playoff series.
The past few days were hectic for Carey as he, his family and his agent planned his next move. He said the Coyotes and two other NHL teams showed serious interest in signing him.
"I just felt Phoenix was the best fit for the style of hockey that I play," Carey said. "I’m excited to bring my skill set to the table."
Asked to describe his skill set, Carey said: "I’m always looking to create a scoring chance whether it’s shooting the puck or passing. I’m always trying to make something happen."
He added, "I pride myself in my offensive ability but I also take pride in how I developed as a defensive player in my college career. I play well positionally and structurally within a system."
|Photo courtesy of ECAC Hockey |
Carey grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, and he learned the game from his father. So did his younger brother Matt, who followed him to St. Lawrence University.
"I’m happy I had the opportunity to play four years there and I enjoyed being engrained within the community and the program at a small school," he said. “I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything."
Carey, a history major who is three credits shy of graduating, lists Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel as an NHL player he greatly admires/role model.
"I love watching him shoot the puck," Carey said. "He can really rip it and he’s an exciting player to watch. I have tremendous respect for a guy who can shoot the puck and find the back of the net as well as he can."