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12-28-2003, 04:36 PM
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Canada's No. 1 centre and faceoff ace

Dec. 28, 2003. 01:00 AM
Carter is centre of attention
Philly prospect is juniors' faceoff ace

Won 18 of 24 draws in win over Finns


HELSINKI—Just what the Philadelphia Flyers need — another big, strong, talented centre who can make plays and dominate in the faceoff circle.

Already armed with an embarrassment of riches down the middle in the form of Jeremy Roenick, Keith Primeau, Mike Comrie and Michal Handzus, the Flyers can take comfort in knowing that their future includes Jeff Carter, Canada's No. 1 centre and faceoff ace at the world junior championship.

It also includes Mike Richards of the Kitchener Rangers, who is the pivot on the highly effective second line and had an assist in Canada's 3-0 win over Finland in the opening game of the tournament Friday.

The Flyers got Carter with the 11th pick overall in last June's draft, a selection they acquired from the Phoenix Coyotes by dealing Daymond Langkow two years ago. They scooped Richards with their own pick in the first round and both look as though they have solid NHL careers ahead of them.

Carter, in particular, was a demon in the faceoff circle against the Finns. He won 18 of 24 faceoffs, most of which came against Finland's top centre, Detroit Red Wings prospect Valterri Filpulla. That was a large reason why Canada's big — and we mean big — line of Carter (6-foot-4, 203 pounds) between Ryan Getzlaf (6-3, 206) and Brent Burns (6-4, 200) had possession of the puck much of the game and kept Finland's top scorers off the board.