Catching up with Flyers Goalie Prospect Carter Hart

WHL: JAN 20 Brandon Wheat Kings at Everett Silvertips
EVERETT, WA – JANUARY 20: Everett Silvertips goaltender Carter Hart (70) makes a blocker save during the second period in a game between the Everett Silvertips and the Brandon Wheat Kings on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, WA. Everett shutout Brandon by a final score of 4-0. (Photo by Christopher Mast/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

Carter Hart is still fresh off winning a gold medal for Team Canada at the World Juniors. However, he had to quickly switch gears and focus on the regular season as its winding down for the Everett Silvertips. Hart’s got one thing on his mind and it’s not his video-game-like stats or his future with the Philadelphia Flyers.

For context sake though, here are his stats compared to the next best statistical goalies in each league:

Goals against average rankings among qualified goalies in the CHL:

  1. Carter Hart – 1.53
  2. Samuel Harvey – 2.08 QMJHL
  3. Matthew Villalta – 2.49 OHL
  4. Cole Kehler – 2.79 WHL

Save percentage rankings among qualified goalies in the CHL:

  1. Carter Hart – .950
  2. Samuel Harvey – 9.30 QMJHL
  3. Jeremy Helvig – .918 OHL
  4. Dave Tendeck – .914 WHL

Hart is clearly head and shoulders above the competition this year, making his numbers seem fake. He’s averaging more than a full goal against better than the next goalie in the WHL this season…

  • Being on one of the top teams in the WHL this season, what do you think will be considered a successful season for the Silvertips?

“A championship. That’s our goal and right now (but) we still have five games left. We’re in first place in the Western Conference-in the U.S Division, and It would be pretty cool to raise the U.S Division banner this year. That would be our third one in the last four years, so that would be pretty special to do with this group that we have. These next few games are going to be important and we’re definitely ready for them.”

  • Do you think that (success) has to extend to getting the Memorial Cup as well?

“For sure-yeah. If you win the Western Hockey League Championship, it doesn’t end there. You’ve got the Memorial Cup and that’s the main prize. That’s the big championship and it’s probably one of the toughest trophies to win in hockey. I think we have a special group of guys this year-we’re a tight group of guys and we’ve got some really skilled players and it’s exciting to be a part of it right now.”

Hart is no stranger to team success though, he was able to represent Canada at the 2018 World Juniors where he looked to help Canada get its first gold medal since 2015. Unfortunately for Hart and team Canada, they lost in the gold-medal game in last years 2017 World Juniors.

  • How did it feel for you to win gold for Canada at the World Juniors, after coming so close and finishing with a silver medal last year?

“It was awesome. I know last year when we lost in the gold game to the U.S that was pretty devastating for all of us. For this year to get another opportunity at the gold-and this time to actually win. Honestly, it was probably one of the best days of my life-winning gold with Canada at the World Juniors. It was something I’ll never forget and that group of guys that we had was so close-our bond was really tight. It was just a hell of an experience and I’ll never forget it.”

“Honestly, it was probably one of the best days of my life-winning gold with Canada at the World Juniors”

Even though I tried to get Carter to think about his future, he’s so focused on what lies ahead for the Silvertips going into the playoffs. It doesn’t seem like right now he’ll entertain too many thoughts on his inevitable future with the Flyers.

  • Being a goalie is obviously the most competitive position in hockey, what did it mean to you to be given the opportunity to get drafted to a team with no superstar goalie ahead of you?

“Going to the Flyers I was very excited-to go to such a storied organization. They’ve got a really good team right now-they’ve been playing pretty good hockey lately. It’s cool to follow along to see how those guys are doing. I’ve been to two training camps now, so I know some of those guys a lot better now and its cool to see those guys playing in the NHL. Even guys playing now-like growing up playing with Nolan Patrick at the U-18’s a couple years ago-and now he’s playing for the Flyers. Even a guy like Alex Lyon, who’s been in the minors for the last couple of the years-and last year when I went up to go the ‘A’ (AHL) for the playoffs there it was cool being around him-and now seeing how hard he works and then getting rewarded with some playing time and an opportunity to play in the bigs.”

Again, Hart shows me how team-oriented he is, how he’s happy to see another goalie prospect succeed and get time with the big club. Although I didn’t learn my lesson and asked him if he feels any extra pressure being a high profile goalie prospect for Philadelphia. Since of course, the Flyers haven’t had a much stability in terms of a franchise goalie in last decade or so. In fact, no Flyers goalie has been able to play 50+ games for the team for more than five straight years once in the last twenty seasons. Hart may be the one to solve to Flyers goalie carousel that’s been going on for years. Although next year Hart said he’ll hopefully be at the pro level his focus is on the remainder of the season and then the playoffs.

  • Speaking of the pro-level, what part of your game do you think you need to improve upon the most to make that jump?

“I’d probably say some off-ice things. I live with a billet family and my billet Parker Fowlds-I’ve been with for three years now and my roommate Riley Sutter I have here as well-but I mean he (Parker) makes my breakfast every day (chuckles) and does both of our laundry-he makes all of our meals-we’re treated very well here with Parks. He does an awesome job with us and he’s like a grandpa to us- he means a lot to me. So I think next year for me the biggest thing is going be living on my own and fending for myself-without having anyone to do your laundry and make your meals-that’s what I’ve heard from other guys who’ve made that jump up to the pros at a young age.”

“He (Parker) makes my breakfast every day (chuckles) and does both of our laundry-he makes all of our meals-we’re treated very well here with Parks”

  • What did it mean to you to get drafted by the Flyers, especially coming from Ron Hextall, where not only is he a goalie, but one of the best goalies in Flyers history?

“That day was something I won’t forget. I know when I heard my name called I was super excited and everything went by in kind of a whirlwind there- everything was kind of coming at me at once-just to have my family there and my goalie coach Shane Clifford. My trainer from back home, Phil Daly was there and obviously, my billet here Parks was there. Just to have my family and support system there on a big day like that-it was pretty special to share with them.”

  • Hextall was a pretty infamous goalie in his day. I don’t know if you knew this, but he has the record for most penalty minutes ever by a goalie in NHL history. He also scored a goal and had quite a few assists as well. So what do you think is more likely to happen to you in your Flyers career: Get into a fight? Or score a goal?

“I don’t know, maybe a fight. I actually almost got into one a couple weeks ago. There was three fights going on the ice at once and I started to skate out a bit-so did the other goalie-but it got broken up so I didn’t have time to get into one. It’s tough to say, but really a fight-I think that would be cool.”

“But really (getting into) a fight-I think that would be cool.”

  • So Matt Murray better watch himself, hey?

“Yeah (laughs) I think I’d rather go someone my size-I think he’s like six-foot-six or something”

You heard it here first. Carter Hart will fight Matt Murray once he gets called up to the Flyers.

In all seriousness, Carter will look to add Memorial Cup champion to his resume this year, and with him leading the way it’s hard to bet against Everett. Hart’s junior numbers are sensational and it will be much sooner than later before he’s the starting goalie for the Philadelphia Flyers.



Photo by Christopher Mast/Icon Sportswire via AP Images