Stouffville native Trevor Carrick played for his hometown Spirit during the 2010-11 season. He is one of eight Spirit graduates to play in the NHL

By Nick Aguilera/SanDiegoGulls.com 

It didn’t take long for Trevor Carrick to decide on where to sign this offseason.

For him, familiarity and comfort with both the Ducks organization and San Diego was at the forefront of his mind when he signed a one-year, two-way contract with Anaheim in July.

“I love San Diego and what it offers living there… The fans are great, and they were really good to me,” Carrick said following the first day of training camp at Great Park Ice in Irvine. “I always loved it there and I’m just happy to be back here. I’m looking forward to it and reconnecting with the fans.”

Carrick, 29, returns for his second go-around in the Ducks organization. He played with San Diego from 2020-22, where he tallied 11-31=42 points with a +3 rating in an even 100 games and helped guide the Gulls to a Calder Cup Playoffs appearance in 2021-22. He spent last season with the Syracuse Crunch, the Tampa Bay Lightning’s primary American Hockey League affiliate, and posted AHL career-highs in both goals (15) and points-per-game (0.77) while finishing just one point shy (15-31=46) of his career-high of 47 set in 2018-19 as a member of the Charlotte Checkers.

Now close to eclipsing a decade in professional hockey, Carrick is looking to not only build on his success from last season but help influence Anaheim’s promising young blueline.

“Being almost 30 years old now, time goes quick and I’m obviously an older guy here now,” Carrick said. “I’ve been around the league a while and [I’m] trying to bring some experience and just trying to help out as much as I can. Just do what’s asked of me in whatever role I’m in.

“I’m going to try and bring positive energy to the rink every day and be helpful for the younger guys and have any answers for any questions they have and be a good leader. I think we’re going to have a good, young, energetic team down there this year and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Despite being away from Southern California for only a year, many changes occurred in both Anaheim and San Diego, from Pat Verbeek stepping in as general manager of the club to Matt McIlvane named the Gulls’ head coach.

“I mean, just coming in here for the first time last week, a lot of new faces and [a] new coaching staff,” Carrick said. “I’ve been busy meeting everybody.

“It’s a fresh start. When I was here two years ago, it didn’t go as planned. They made a lot of changes, but it sounds like there’s a lot of new, good people in here and a lot of new players as well. I’m looking forward to getting things going with them.”

A reunion with the Ducks also means a reunion with his brother, Ducks center and former Gulls captain Sam Carrick. The two played together in stints with San Diego after Trevor was traded from San Jose in 2020, but never got to experience training camp with one another.

“He got traded here a couple years ago and we got to play together,” Sam said. “That was awesome. But then you don’t really think it’s ever going to happen again. You think it’s kind of over with and it’s pretty rare. So, for it to come back and we get another chance to play together, that’s pretty special.

“This is our first actual camp we’ve had together because he was traded to us during COVID and all that. It’s exciting for sure. Hopefully we can get into some game action together.”

“Depending on where he’ll be and where I’ll be, it’ll be nice to reconnect with him,” Trevor added. “We enjoyed it in San Diego a few years ago when I was here. We were actually living together…I’m looking forward to being close to him again.”

Trevor kept things quiet before putting pen to paper, so much so that even Sam wasn’t quite sure what was next for his younger brother.

“He didn’t [tell me],” Sam said. “He kept it quiet for a little bit until it was set in stone for sure. But I kind of knew about it when it was going to happen. It was very exciting. He had a pretty good year last year, so that was good. And it’s nice they wanted him back here.”

As for rooming together again, Trevor is going to have to find a new place to crash during camp.

“We were for a few days before camp,” Sam said. “He was at my place but [I] kicked him out of there.”

Story and photo courtesy San Diego Gulls.