The Carpenter name is synonymous with greatness.
Beginning with former NHL great Bob Carpenter – the first U.S. Citizen to be drafted into the NHL directly out of high school – the family tradition has continued with his children.
Alex Carpenter and Bobo Carpenter have established themselves as two of the top young players to come out of Massachusetts. Alex is currently part of a 25-player roster competing for the U.S. Women's National Team while Bobo is a centerpiece of an Austin Prep varsity hockey team that tops the 2013 preseason statewide MIAA boys' hockey Top 25 poll.
And what do all three have in common besides their last name? They all spent many years in the Warrior program.
Father Knows Best
|Bob Carpenter's NHL career spanned 18 years.
The elder Carpenter joined the Valley Junior Warriors staff as program development director in 2006 after a celebrated professional hockey playing and coaching career.
A St. John’s Preparatory School standout from Peabody, Carpenter – during his first season in the NHL – scored 32 goals and then set a record for American-born players when he scored 53 in his fourth year.
His storied professional playing career includes stints with the Washington Capitals, New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils and the Boston Bruins. In his NHL career that spanned 18 years, Carpenter played 1,318 games, scoring 341 goals and 446 assists for 787 points. He also captured three Stanley Cups (1995, ’00, ’03) while playing for New Jersey.
Following his playing career, Carpenter served as assistant coach of the New Jersey Devils and head coach of the AHL Albany River Rats.
A local product – through and through – Carpenter returned home and began his work with the Warrior program. He served as coach for numerous youth teams as well as for the junior program.
Daddy's Little Girl... No More
|Alex Carpenter is a member of the U.S. Women's National Team
Whether in the rink or in the VJW office space, Alex Carpenter was always a constant companion of her father. The unseparable duo formed a strong bond early on and Alex was a mainstay in the VJW program up until her bantam years.
Following her Warrior career, Carpenter went on to a stellar high school career at Governor’s Academy where she registered 239 goals and 188 assists (427 points) in 100 games. Not only did her teams capture New England Division II Championships four consecutive years (2008-2011), but Carpenter earned All-ISL accolades in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, including ISL MVP honors as a junior and senior.
“My whole family grew up on ice,” said Carpenter to USA Hockey Magazine . “It’s just kind of what we did.”
When the time came, she selected Boston College as her college of choice and it did not take long for Carpenter to make a name for herself. During her freshman campaign, she was a First Team Hockey East All-Star and an unanimous Hockey East All-Rookie Team selection.
One year later, Carpenter was the Turfer Athletic Hockey East scoring champion, tallying 70 points, and a top-10 Patty Kazmaier finalist. She was seventh overall in the nation with 1.89 points per game and was named the Cammi Granato/Athletic Republic Player of the Year.
This past June, Carpenter took an important step towards representing her country at the Olympic Games. She was just one of 25 players who were named to the U.S. Women's National Team that will train together and participate in various competitions in the build-up to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
The announcement was the culmination of a seven-day selection camp that began on June 17 in Lake Placid and included 41 players. The roster features 13 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders.
As a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team, Carpenter has played in one International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship (gold-2013) and one Four Nations Cup (3rd-2013).
“Whether it’s for my high school team, Boston College or Team USA,” she said, “I just want to go out there and do my best to help lead my team to victory.”
Super Star Eyes Super 8 Return
|Bobo Carpenter has committed to Boston University beginning in 2015.
While Alex takes a break from her college team, her younger brother Bobo broke the hearts of many Division I coaches last May when he committed to Boston University. He was just the second player to commit to the Terrier program since Jack Parker announced his retirement.
Just months earlier, Carpenter – as a sophomore – led his Austin Prep team to the Massachusetts Super 8 finals at TD Garden. He finished second in scoring with 16 goals and 14 assists in 24 games.
"He is a coach's dream," said Steve MacAdams, the VJW director of player development who has coached Carpenter both as a Warrior head coach and an assistant coach at Austin Prep. "He shoots it like a pro and that’s no exaggeration.”
Many ask where the name “Bobo” comes from, and the youngster is quick to explain.
“My grandfather was Robert,” Carpenter said in a recent article. “My dad got Bob, so I got Bobo.”
Even without the explanation, there are few who don’t know of Carpenter and his outstanding and versatile skill.
“He’s also a great faceoff man,” said MacAdams. “I’m sure his father taught him that skill, since he was great at that. He is a great kid and a coach’s dream. He is always doing the extra work and skates forever. He’s a great teammate as well. Never negative. He’s what you look for. A very determined kid who has a great disposition.”
During his years with the Warriors, Bobo played alongside his sister and and made an equally impressive impression on her.
"When we were growing up, it was always 'Oh, Alex and Bobo Carpenter, the son and daughter of Bobby Carpenter.'
But I think now things are starting to change a little bit," Alex Carpenter
told NHL.com. "It's nice that the tables are turning a little bit. But
we still acknowledge our dad and all he's done for us."
A Family Legacy Continues
It is an exciting time as young Warrior players will have an opportunity to watch both Alex and Bobo compete this season.
Just two days ago, Alex scored her team's first goal en route to Team USA's 5-1 win over Canada. The U.S. Women's National Team will be back in action on December 20 when it plays Canada in Grand Forks, N.D. Follow all of the action online by clicking here.
Bobo, meanwhile, is already helping his team prepare for the upcoming high school season which officially begins on December 18 with an away game verses Chelmsford. Click here to view the Austin Prep schedule.
No matter where you go, there is no doubt that there will be one beaming father not too far away.
"With Alex and her two brothers, yes, they have had success with athletics," said Bob Carpenter in that same NHL.com article. "But I think my wife and I get more compliments about the type of people they are, which is more important than anything."