In the fourth round of the 2019 NHL Draft, the Florida Panthers selected another defenseman to bolster the blue line in their farm system.
6’0″, 201 lbs and left-handed, Berger played for the Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL) during the 2018-19 season. In 54 games, Berger recorded 27G, 36A, for 63 points. The previous year (2017-18), he tallied 10G, 24A, and 34 points in 56 games.
Berger closed out the 2018-19 campaign as the league’s leading defenseman in goals (27) and points (63). In result of his outstanding play, he was named to the BCHL’s First Team All-Star.
Carter is regarded as a player who likes to jump up in the rush and provide his team with a fourth scoring option. He possesses a good shot with high accuracy that can beat just about any goaltender.
More importantly, Berger understands the importance of playing a sound defensive game, even stating “If you take care of the defensive zone first, the offense comes easier for you. I’ve played with an offensive edge to my game my whole career and jump up if I see an opening.”
His defensive game could use some adjusting in certain areas like positioning and awareness, but by no means is it weak. With more development time, Berger can certainly work out those kinks in his game.
A University of Connecticut (NCAA) commit, Berger will have the proper foundation and program to reach his full potential.
For what it’s worth, this pick could very well turn out to be a steal for the Florida Panthers if Carter Berger continues on his current development path. At the very least, Berger could develop into a really strong third pairing defenseman.
For a fourth-round selection, Carter Berger provides a lot of upside and value going forward, which the Panthers could use on their blue line.