Born: September 10, 1988 (age 21)
6 ft 02
Minnesota Wild seventh round draft pick (number 200 overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
Carson McMillan’s not the most graceful of skaters. He’s not going to be a big scorer, witness his eight points (4+4=8) in 56 games for the Aeros last season. This is something that McMillan confessed at the end of last season, as he was coming to grips that he wasn’t going to be that scorer at this level that he’d been in the lower ranks. What he will be, if he can keep his head on, is a good third or fourth line guy. Think Mitch Love or Jason Ryzner in 2008-09. He’ll provide some good energy off the bench. He also provides a physical presence, and if he plays within himself, there’s no reason he can’t be a consistent ice presence when the team needs a key defensive stop.
McMillan’s best hockey last season seemed to come early on, when he was teamed up with Cody Almond and Peter Zingoni. Zingoni’s veteran presence seemed to be a really good fit with Almond and McMillan, and for the first few weeks of the season, they were easily Kevin Constantine’s best line on the ice. Then the injury bug hit Almond and Zingoni, and McMillan never seemed to be able to recover his game.
McMillan’s biggest problem was using his head. He was called for stupid penalty after stupid penalty last season, and he served a suspension for a hit on a Texas Stars player. But if he can get the penalty problem under control, and if he can work on the puck control, then he’s got the skill set necessary to be a key guy on one of the energy or checking lines. And as much as we all like scoring, those lines often end up being the most important lines on the ice.