Another Union hockey player is headed to the pros.
Daniel Carr, the Dutchmen’s all-time leading scorer at the Division I level, signed a two-year contract with the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.
Carr becomes the third player from the NCAA champion-Dutchmen to sign a pro contract. He joins defensemen Shayne Gostisbehere (Philadelphia Flyers) and Mat Bodie (New York Rangers), who signed their deals April 15.
Carr, who is from Sherwood Park, Alberta, attended Game 4 of the Canadiens’ Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. He saw the Canadiens win, 4-3, to complete a series sweep.
“I got a good feel when I was up there visiting,” Carr said. “They’re good people. That was one of the big things for me. There’s good leadership at the helm. There’s good leadership everywhere in the NHL, so I’m not taking anything away from anyone else. But when you hear it from the players and other management saying that’s why they’re there, that’s a good sign.
“The culture in Montreal is exceptional. The other thing is being Canadian, you have a very, very good and strong appreciation for the history that the Montreal Canadiens have. It’s just an honor to be a part of it.”
Union coach Rick Bennett is pleased for Carr, who was a part of three ECACH regular season titles, three ECACH tournament championships, four NCAA tournament appearances and two Frozen Fours.
“I think it’s great for our program,” Bennett said. “What is really special is players like Daniel Carr and Mat Bodie played four seasons here, and it just goes to show a lot of, not only our current guys but guys across the college landscape, that, you know what, if you stay four years, good things can happen as far as fulfilling your dreams in playing in the National Hockey League.”
The 23-year-old Carr finished his career with 157 points, the most by a Union player in the program’s Division I era. Including the Division III era, Carr ranks third all-time in scoring behind Terry Campbell (170 points from 1987-91) and Tod Fobare (167 points from 1979-83).
He scored 20 or more goals in three of his four seasons. He led the team in scoring this season with 22 goals and 28 assists. His 50 points were the most by a Dutchmen in a season in Division I.
Carr was named the Most Outstanding Player of the ECAC Hockey tournament championship round after the Dutchmen beat Cornell and Colgate in Lake Placid last month to win their third straight Whitelaw Cup. He was a first-team All-ECACH and a second-team All-American.
Carr will attend the Canadiens’ summer development camp, and then try to crack the roster in training camp in September. If he doesn’t make the big club, Carr will probably begin his pro career with the Hamilton Bulldogs, the Canadiens’ AHL affiliate.
“You have to understand that signing a contract is one thing, but 50 other guys have NHL contracts,” Carr said. “This is just a step. It doesn’t mean you’re going to play in the NHL. I have a lot of work to do and a lot of things to get better on before that dream can become a reality.”