By Christine Troyke
FLORENCE, S.C. — The smile is almost too nice for a defenseman.
No glowering visage, marred by missing teeth or jagged scars staring down at you here. Just a soft-spoken, open friendliness from a self-professed small-town boy.
Looks, however, can be deceiving.
Daniel Carriere has contributed three goals and three assists while maintaining a plus-3 in seven games as a rookie with the Pee Dee Pride. Most recently, the blueliner was the 10th trigger man and provided the game-winner in a shootout against Florida Saturday.
Numbers like that, especially from a defenseman, are easily highlighted. It’s the bigger responsibilities behind the blue line and on special teams that can go overlooked.
Carriere hit the ground running when he finally arrived in Florence after going through American Hockey League Cleveland’s training camp.
“He wasn’t here for much of training camp with us and it didn’t take him long to adjust to what makes him effective,” Pee Dee coach Davis Payne said. “I think he’s done an excellent job with his decisions on the power play and decisions on when to jump up and what plays to make. That shows in his statistics.