Thursday, May 19, 2011

Jr. Gens' Carter wants improved '11-12


Warren Carter came to the Flint Jr. Generals last season looking to advance his hockey career to the next level - whatever and wherever that may be.

He had played the 2009-10 season with the Tri-City Icehawks of the Great Lakes Junior Hockey League and the year before that in Canada.

Jr. Generals head coach Jeff Worlton coached Carter with the Icehawks and knew Carter would be a great fit in Flint, so he took Carter in the 2010 North American 3 Hockey League (then the Central States Hockey League) draft.

“Jeff knew my game and how I played,” noted Carter, a 20-year-old from Brookfield, Wis. “And I knew this league was the most logical next step in my career. It’s a league that gets scouted and now that the North American Hockey League has taken over, having them attached to it I think makes kids coming out of high school want to play here. I think, too, that a lot of guys are getting excited with the four new teams coming in next year.”

Carter tallied 22 goals and 49 points last year and also amassed 115 penalty minutes. He said he plays a power forward-type game even though he stands 5-foot-8 and weighs 150 pounds.

“I’ve always used my size to my advantage and turned what some might see as a negative into a positive,” Carter said. “I try and use my speed as much as I can. I mean, they can’t hit me if they can’t catch me. Really, I just do whatever it takes to help the team get going.”

Being away from home for the third straight season was a situation Carter adapted to rather quickly.

“I’d done it before and last year was fine and easy for me,” said Carter. “The Jr. Generals treat you like family.”

In 2010-11, Flint finished in ninth place in the NA3HL standings, barely missing out on the Hurster Cup playoffs.

“We started out very slow and only had one returning player,” explained Carter. “Once we got going, that’s when we all started getting our points, including myself.”

Next year will be a different story, according to Carter, who played in the NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament in Ann Arbor last February.

“I definitely feel I can be one of the leaders on this team next year,” said Carter. “I’ve always been a lead by example-type player, but if something needs to be said, I can do that, too. I think we can definitely be a top three team next year.”

Individually, Carter has already talked to several Division III schools and hopes to continue hockey at that level after next season.

“That’s the plan,” said Carter. “We’ll see what happens.”

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