The last of the returns from the Ryan Miller trade is about to make an impact. When the Buffalo Sabres dealt Miller and Steve Ott to the St. Louis Blues at the NHL Trade Deadline in 2014, William Carrier felt like more of a toss-in compared to Jaroslav Halak, Chris Stewart, and two high picks. However, when Buffalo flipped Halak, traded both picks, and let Stewart walk after a season and a half, by default Carrier became the centerpiece of a return for a franchise goalie. After two seasons in the AHL, Carrier has been called up to join the Sabres and expectations are high.
A second-round pick in 2013, the 21-year-old Carrier was a star in the QMJHL with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. Although he struggled with injuries during his junior career, when healthy Carrier was an elite mix of skill and strength. In his past two years with the Rochester Americans of the AHL, Carrier has struggled to put up eye-popping numbers, but has continued to develop a complete game.
Carrier was called up as the other side of fellow young winger Justin Bailey being sent down. Bailey has yet to record a point in ten NHL games and now Carrier will be given a chance to show what he can offer. Carrier is expected to slot right into Bailey’s spot on the fourth line for now.