Since coming over in a trade from the Los Angeles Kings during the 2020-21 season, Jeff Carter has cemented himself as a key piece for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins rewarded him with a two-year contract carrying a $3.125 million average annual value. The 37-year-old veteran has seemingly rejuvenated his career in the Steel City and will attempt to continue his success over the course of his next contract.
Jeff Carter Career Overview
Jeff Carter was a part of the loaded 2003 NHL draft class. The Philadelphia Flyers selected him with the 11th pick in the draft after he dominated the OHL as part of the Soo Greyhounds. In his draft year, Carter posted 71 points including 35 goals in just 61 games. In the same season, he played for Team Canada at the World Juniors. In seven games he totaled two goals and four assists including the goal that captured the gold medal for Team Canada.
He reached the NHL during his age 21 season. As a rookie, he played in 81 games scoring 23 goals and 19 assists for 42 points. He played five more seasons in the City of Brotherly Love before being traded. Carter’s point total in Philadelphia included 181 goals and 162 assists for 343 points across 461 games. Following the offseason trade that sent Carter away from the Flyers to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Carter scored 15 goals and 10 assists in just 39 games for Columbus. During the same season, he was once again traded this time he was sent to the Los Angeles Kings.
In Los Angeles Carter was vital in the Kings two Stanley Cup championships. Carter played parts of 10 regular seasons with the Kings. He played in 580 games posting 194 goals and 189 for 383 points. What Kings will remember most is his incredible playoff play. In 73 playoff games, he had 53 points including 26 goals. His two most successful playoff runs happened to be the same years as the Kings championships. During the 2011-12 playoffs Carter played 20 games and managed to score eight goals to go along with five assists. Two years later his totals were even more impressive as in 26 games he produced 10 goals and 15 assists.
While his time spent in Los Angeles was memorable, all good things must come to an end as the Kings dealt Carter to the Penguins. Thus far with the Penguins, Carter has produced 21 goals and 16 assists for 37 points in 50 games. He also has participated in six playoff games scoring four goals and one assist.
What Jeff Carter Brings to the Penguins
At 37 years old, Carter has been playing at a surprisingly high level for the Penguins. According to Daileyfaceoff.com Carter is playing third line center for Pittsburgh with his wingers as Evan Rodrigues and Brock Mcginn. Carter has helped Rodrigues have a career year as he has produced 15 goals and 17 assists for 32 points in 42 games. Brock Mcginn has also had an impressive season playing alongside Jeff Carter as Mcginn has scored 10 goals and five assists. Carter has also been tasked with playing on the Penguins Power Play and Penalty Kill units.
Carter has fit right into the culture of the Penguins locker room and been a great leader for the younger players. While being at the tail end of his career, Carter has rejuvenated his career and will surely be an important player for the Penguins over the course of the next two seasons.