Matt Carle was born September 25, 1984 in Anchorage, Alaska. The second round, 47th overall selection of the San Jose Sharks in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Carle played two seasons in the USHL, one with the U.S. Jr. National Team and the other with the River City Lancers.
An offensive defenseman, Carle enrolled at the University of Denver in the fall of 2003 and went on to play three seasons at the school capturing numerous honours, including; NCAA Defenseman of the Year (2005), NCAA All-American Team (West), First All-WCHA Team (2005), WCHA Player of the Year (2006), WCHA Defensive Player of the Year (2006) and WCHA First Team All-WCHA (2006). He became the first player in WCHA history to garner both the Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Awards in the same season. Overall, he led the all NCAA defensemen in goals (11), assists (42) and points (53) in his junior year.
After leading Denver to back-to-back NCAA Championships in 2004 and 2005, Carle opted to forego his senior year and sign a professional contract with the Sharks. The first U.S. born player to capture the World Junior and NCAA titles in the same season (2004), the 2006 Hobey Baker Award winner, Carle made his NHL debut with San Jose on March 25, 2006.
Carle's first full season in San Jose proved to be a success. He appeared in 77 games and registered 42 points and earned a four-year contract extension with the club. However the following season, he struggled to match his point production and he was subsequently dealt from the Sharks to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the summer of 2008.
The 6-foot, 205-pound Carle had saw action in 12 games for Tampa Bay before he was traded from the club to the Philadelphia Flyers in a multi-player deal.