|1994-1995||New Jersey Devils|
Carpenter became the first high school player to jump directly to the NHL in his draft year. He was a 53-goal scorer at age 21, and though he never approached that total again, the forward went on to play 18 seasons in the NHL, including winning the Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 1995.
The Washington Capitals selected Carpenter with the No. 3 pick in the 1981 NHL Draft after he excelled at St. John's Prep in Danvers, Massachusetts, and made the cover of Sports Illustrated as the "Can't Miss Kid." Carpenter made the Capitals out of training camp that fall and was an instant hit, scoring 32 goals and 67 points as an 18-year-old in 1981-82. He scored 32 goals and 69 points in 1982-83, helping the Capitals qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since entering the NHL in 1974, and had a career year in 1984-85, scoring 53 goals and 95 points to become the first U.S.-born 50-goal scorer.