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Thursday, March 20, 2014
Blackhawks sign college forward Carey

By Scott Powers

The Chicago Blackhawks agreed to terms with free-agent forward Matt Carey on a two-year contract Thursday.

Carey, 22, will report to the Blackhawks and wear No. 25.

The 6-foot, 185-pounder had 18 goals and 19 assists in 38 games as a freshman at St. Lawrence University this past season. He redshirted the 2012-13 season at St. Lawrence. Prior to college, he had 58 goals and 95 assists in 93 career games in the Ontario Junior Hockey League from 2010-12.

St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel touted Carey's offensive game on Thursday.

“Matt’s a guy who has very good offensive ability,” Carvel said in a phone interview. “He shoots the puck tremendously well. He does things at a tremendous pace. That’s what really caught the scouts’ attention this year. It’s his ability to do things at a really high pace and his ability to shoot the puck. Most of his goals this year he blew pucks past goaltenders.”

Carvel described Carey as more of a goal-scorer than a playmaker. He thought Carey was very similar to older brother Greg, a senior on the St. Lawrence squad who signed with the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday, in that respect.

“I think everyone wanted to distinguish them as very different players,” Carvel said. “The truth to the matter is Matt shoots the puck in a lot of ways like Greg. Greg is a true scorer. Everyone wanted to characterize Matt as a playmaker. I think Matt is more of a goal-scorer than playmaker."

Carvel said he tried to convince Matt Carey to stay in school for one more season because he thought Carey's game needed work.

“There are parts of his game that still need to be developed,” Carvel said. “He told me he wanted to do that at the next level. He said he could develop his game better there. He expected to play in the American [Hockey] League for a while and hone his game at the next level. Talking to Chicago, he was convinced they had the people and they do a good job of developing young players. I’m guessing that’s why he decided to go with Chicago.

“The thing is I thought he needed to stay to get stronger physically. He needs to be able to win 50/50 pucks and be able to win those battles, defensive zone play, playing without the puck, faceoffs. He’s a true offensive player. It’s the other side of the game he needs to truly work on.”