Ashton is the son of former NHL left winger Brent Ashton, who played 998 NHL games split between nine NHL clubs. Carter grew up in several cities, but played his minor hockey in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
- Selected in the 1st round, 7th overall, of the 2006 WHL Bantam Draft by the Lethbridge Hurricanes. He appeared in two games for the Hurricanes in the 2006-2007 season, going scoreless and minus-1.
- Ashton got off to a slow start his rookie year, going scoreless in his first eight games. His first WHL goal was scored December 12, 2007, vs. Calgary. He had two goals and three points against Prince George January 26. For the year, he would score five goals and nine points in 40 games. He missed three months with a broken collarbone. Ashton played in 19 playoff games that spring as the Hurricanes advanced to the WHL finals vs. Dustin Tokarski and Spokane. The Chiefs swept the Hurricanes 4-0. Ashton had one assist in his 19 playoff games.
- Had a breakout season for the Hurricanes, scoring 30 goals (team leader) and 50 points in 70 games to go along with 93 penalty minutes. His season started off slow again as he scored just two goals in his first 13 games. He earned his first career hat trick November 16 against Edmonton. During the playoffs, Ashton had one goal and three points in 11 games. Lethbridge was swept by Calgary in the second round. Ashton failed to earn a point in the sweep.
- Ashton had an impressive training camp with the Lightning following the draft, and rumors were he may end up staying with the Lightning. As it was, the Bolts signed Ashton and re-assigned him to Lethbridge after playing in an exhibition game.
- Played well in Lightning camp and in the exhibition season (two goals in two games) before being returned to his junior team. Even though he was close to making the team the previous year, new GM Steve Yzerman emphasizes playing time for prospects so Ashton was sent to the WHL.
"Carter is a solid prototypical power forward; he knows the game and really is astute at the power-play and penalty kill, offensive and defensive parts of his game." - NHL CSS Director EJ McGuire
Ashton plays a meat and potatoes pro style game that should translate well to the NHL. He plays a solid north-south game and will go into the high traffic areas to score goals and make plays. He has a long frame that is just beginning to fill out and is exceptional at protecting the puck down low in the offensive zone. He is deadly as a finisher from anywhere below the dots in the offensive zone. In terms of intangibles, Ashton is a very hard worker who had the best VO2 max rating at the Scouting Combine in 2009.
His offensive game is still in its infancy and he's just learning how to use his linemates to create scoring chances. As a consequence, he needs a playmaking centerman to truly be effective offensively.
Carter in still a work in progress, but the foundation is there for him to develop into an NHL power forward who will have a long and successful career. He may need one season in the AHL with Norfolk before that happens. His father, Brent, was a solid 25 goal, 50-55 point a year man in the NHL and the apple doesn't appear to fall that far from the tree. Carter projects to be a solid second line winger who will do the dirty work for his linemates and bang home 20-30 goals a season like NHLers Ryan Malone or Dustin Penner.
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