Carter Rowney, RW/C
Hometown: Grande Prairie, AB, CAN
Drafted: Undrafted. Signed March 2016 by PGH to two-year entry contract
May 2018 – The late-bloomer is a testament to the power of persistence. He didn’t get his NHL debut until he played three junior seasons, four more in the NCAA, two split between the ECHL and AHL, then one full AHL campaign before reaching the Promised Land – a 27-game, seven-point big-league baptism. He even had three assists in 20 playoff games as Pittsburgh stormed to a second straight Stanley Cup. While he’s been a good AHL producer, Rowney is strictly an NHL fourth-liner, at least with the Pens. The 28-year-old is a UFA, the younger Riley Sheahan is an RFA and Rowney might soon be with another organization. Mark Allan
February 2018 – It’s a good thing the 6-2, 200-pounder can play right wing as well as center because Pittsburgh is loaded down the middle with Crosby, Malkin, Brassard and Sheahan. The 28-year-old Rowney plays with some grit and will probably join Sheahan and Tom Kühnhackl as one of the league’s more effective fourth lines. Rowney’s experience with faceoffs gives coach Mike Sullivan a good option should a linesman throw Sheahan out of the circle. Mark Allan
November 2017 – After missing 14 games with a broken hand, Rowney was pointless in a 21-shift, minus-2 effort in a 4-3 loss Nov. 24 in Boston. Again pointless three days later in a 5-4 OT win over Philadelphia, he had a better outing between Carl Hagelin and Bryan Rust, totaling five SOGs, three blocks and four hits in 15:56 as he supplanted Riley Sheahan as the third-line center. The responsible Rowney will never be a big NHL point-producer but can help a fantasy roster if defensive peripherals are counted. Mark Allan
October 2017 – Rowney is on IR and will miss at least two games after injuring a hand while blocking a shot during Pittsburgh’s 7-1 thrashing by the Lightning. Players aren’t normally placed on IR for such short-term injuries but, without affecting the rest of their 23-man roster, it allowed the Penguins to call up Casey DeSmith from the AHL to be Matt Murray’s backup since the porous Antti Niemi was waived. Since Riley Sheahan was acquired to be Pittsburgh’s No. 3 center, and Greg McKegg is playing well, Rowney doesn’t want to be out too long lest he be returned to the AHL. Mark Allan
October 2017 – In spite of having just one assist and a minus-2 rating after six games, the 28-year-old has settled into Pittsburgh’s fourth-line C role between Tom Kϋhnhackl and Ryan Reaves. Playing in all of the first six games, he totaled 13 hits, six blocks, a 52-per-cent faceoff win percentage and tons of SH icetime on the first PK unit. He’s vulnerable to replacement unless he nudges his points up, but he could help you in a deep pool that counts lots of peripheral stats. Mark Allan
June 2017 – One of the oldest prospects in the league, Rowney finally was rewarded for his persistence at age 28 with appearances in 27 regular-season games with the defending Stanley Cup champions. Seven points were a modest contribution to the offense, although the veteran AHLer plays at both ends of the rink and does the little things to help his team win and keep him employed. Although he can always fall back on the AHL, where he totaled 21 points in 26 games, Rowney experienced another treasured NHL first this season – an extended post-season run in which he posted three assists. Mark Allan
February 2017 – One of the older rookies in NHL history, the versatile forward got an assist for his first big-time point in his third NHL game. Nobody is under any illusions: Rowney is getting some bottom-six minutes in the NHL because of injuries to Evgeni Malkin, Conor Sheary, Carl Hagelin and Matt Cullen. He will soon be back in the AHL, where he has been effective for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with heady two-way play. After four years at the U of North Dakota, Rowney split two seasons between the ECHL and AHL, breaking through last season with 56 points and plus-23 in 74 AHL league games and adding 12 points in 10 Calder Cup playoff games. In a different, less-deep organization, he might already be an NHL bottom-six regular and steady point producer. He's under contract to Pittsburgh for one more season before becoming a UFA. Mark Allan
October 2016 – After surviving two rounds of cuts, playing in all five of Pittsburgh's pre-season games and scoring twice, Rowney was nonetheless returned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. At 27, he appears to be an AHL lifer, although an extremely useful one. Mark Allan
June 2016 – A 27-year-old prospect who has yet to play in his first NHL game? That would be the late-blooming Rowney, who's carving out a nice AHL niche after four relatively undistinguished seasons at the University of North Dakota. Rowney's fourth AHL campaign was easily his best so far with personal pro bests in games (74), goals (24), assists (32), points (56), PIMs (37), and tying the plus-23 he achieved in the ECHL two seasons before. The versatile, coachable forward followed with across-the-board playoff PBs, including 12 points in 10 games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL. A strong two-way player whose playmaking and goal-scoring advances make him an attractive package, Rowney has two seasons on his first NHL contract to prove he's more than just a good AHLer. Mark Allan
April 2016 – Rowney is paying early dividends after signing his first NHL contract March 9. That night, he had two goals and an assist, including a goal in overtime, for Pittsburgh's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton AHL affiliate. That eruption was part of a sensational nine-game run that led to the heady forward being named the CCM/AHL Player of the Month. Known as a two-way forward but demonstrating his puck skills, the third-year pro amassed seven goals and 10 assists for a league-high 17 points in March as the AHL Penguins closed in on a post-season berth. Although some talented players have worn WBS uniforms, the U of North Dakota grad is the first team member to be named player of the month since Chris Conner in February 2010. Rowney registered all 17 of his March points from March 5 to 25. He's recorded pro career bests of 21 goals, 31 assists and 52 points, and his plus-26 rating is tops among active AHL forwards. Mark Allan
March 2016 – Enticed by Rowney’s first AHL hat trick in a 5-4 win over Hershey to continue a hot streak of 10 goals and seven assists in 15 games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pittsburgh inked the husky Western Canadian to a two-year entry-level deal. Not that he’s making a fortune with his first NHL deal (average annual pay of $612,500) but Rowney earned the contract the old-fashioned way. The 26-year-old is second in WBS scoring with 39 points in 58 games, including pro career personal bests of 17 goals, 22 helpers and a plus-22 rating, which is tied for 10th in the league. Now 26, he proved to Pittsburgh that his hot finish last season (14 points in his final 16 regular-season games) was no fluke.
A two-way player, evidenced by his strong plus-minus numbers, Rowney has a nose for the net but also knows where his teammates are on the ice. Helping the University of North Dakota to three WCHA championships in four seasons, Rowney was twice named to the WCHA all-academic team. Besides his obvious intelligence, he was an alternate captain in his senior year, indicating some leadership qualities. Spurned in the NHL draft, Rowney has worked his way up from the ECHL to become a productive AHL player. Taking the next step will be his biggest challenge. Mark Allan
Fantasy Outlook: C-
A hard worker with good size and some offensive ability, Rowney shapes up as a late-blooming, bottom-six NHL player. His skating will determine how far he goes.
Carter Rowney scores his first AHL goal:
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