When Jimmy was 16, he left University-Liggett High School in Grosse Point, Michigan near Detroit to play in the Quebec junior league, where he scored 70 goals in his last year, 1985-86.
From there he was selected 2nd overall by Los Angeles in the 1986 draft and when he played his first game that fall he was the youngest player in the NHL. Just two years later, he set records for most goals (55) and points (107) in a season by an American-born player, and he was just the second youngest player to hit the 50-goal mark (Grtezky was the youngest).
On August 9, 1988, Carson was the key King involved in the trade that sent Wayne Gretzky out of Edmonton, and the pressure of replacing the Great One on the Oilers was huge. He scored 49 goals his first season, but just four games in to the 1989-90 season walked out on the team, demanding a trade. A trade it was, back home to Detroit, but Carson was unhappy playing second fiddle to Steve Yzerman, saw his ice time diminish, and forced a trade again, this time right back to La La Land and Gretzky and his only trip to the Cup finals (a loss to Montreal).
But by this time he was lucky to hit double digits in scoring, and fifty goals sounded more like career totals than play for a single season. Carson wound up in Vancouver and Hartford, where he never even reached double digits. In his final four NHL seasons, he had 58 goals, three shy of his total for all of 1987-88. Carson played briefly in Switzeralnd and the IHL before retiring in 1998.