'Canes call on another

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 2:09 PM ET

RALEIGH, N.C. -- He sat through the first day and even watched a trio of teammates selected in the opening round.

Unfortunately, Brett Carson didn't hear his name called over the RBC Center PA in the first three rounds Saturday.

Excuse the Calgary Hitmen defenceman for worrying yesterday would be another long and disappointing time. Turns out it wasn't that bad after all.

Carson's wait -- only about 15 minutes -- came to a quick and happy end when the host Carolina Hurricanes selected him with the 11th pick in the fourth round, 109th overall.

"If I was waiting another hour, I probably would have been getting nervous," said Carson, proudly wearing the jersey he was handed.

It wasn't quite the same feeling the day before when Andrew Ladd was chosen fourth overall and then Jeff Schultz (27th) and Andy Rogers (30th) were summoned to the stage.

Carson was beaming about his buddies while waiting with his parents.

"They were pretty quiet," Carson said of his folks. "They were disappointed because they thought I was going to be (taken) but when I told them it wasn't a big deal they all lightened up and said they were proud of me. It really helps you get through it."

It didn't hurt either that Ladd visited him Saturday night for a pep talk.

Turns out, Ladd and Carson will have the chance for many more conversations as both were chosen by the Hurricanes.

"He's a good player and a good person," Carson said. "I loved playing with him last year and I'm happy to continue my career with him."

Steve Covington became the fifth Hitmen chosen when Detroit claimed him with its seventh-round choice, 226 overall.

The news served as his wake-up call.

"My agent called at 7:30 (a.m.) and my mom gave me the phone," he said.

Covington and Ladd are cousins, so it was a big weekend for the family.

"I wasn't even ranked so I'm pretty excited to go in the seventh round. Now I'll work hard and try to earn a contract," he said.

Calgary product Kyle Moir, a goalie with WHL Swift Current, was claimed in the fifth round, 139th, by Nashville.

Carson, a 6-ft. 4-in., 220-lb. product of Whitewood, Sask., was ranked 31st among North American skaters by Central Scouting Service.

He's coming of a season in which he netted five goals, 27 assists and 49 penalty minutes. Given the title of fastest skater at the top prospects game, the knock on him is a lack of physical play, something he says he's been trying to work at.

"It really comes with strength. I've been working a lot at it and put on 15 pounds last year," he said.

The day, however, was one to celebrate, especially after going through the doubts that came on the draft's opening day.

"I look at it as a pretty good opportunity because lots of kids would love to be in that situation. I didn't really get down on myself," he said. "It's really exciting. I'm proud to be part of it. I've always liked the Hurricanes. They've always had a group of Western Hockey League defencemen, and I followed Eric Staal because he's a great player. I also liked their jerseys when they first came into the league.

"Now I have only one team to impress, not 30."


Videos

Photos