After John's high school career in Woburn he went on to a very successful college stint with RPI (ECAC) between 1982-86. During the four seasons with RPI, John scored 225 points in 131 games. His point total was the 4th best result ever by a RPI player and his 117 goals was second best. He tended to score in bunches, collecting 13 hat tricks. In 1984-85 his 43 goals earned him All-American honors (1st team All-Star) as he, Adam Oates and Darren Puppa led RPI to the NCAA championship. John scored the game-winning goal in triple overtime against Minnesota-Duluth in the semifinals. Two nights later the Engineers defeated Providence College 2-1 in the championship contest. Both games were played at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit
After his college career with RPI was over, John represented USA in the 1986 World Championships (in Moscow). That same season (1985-86) John made his NHL debut by playing three games for Boston. John then only played 8 games for Boston in 86-87 and 4 games in 87-88. The rest of the time he was playing in the AHL for Moncton and Maine.
John saw much less ice time in the 90-91 season and only scored four goals for Boston. His time in Beantown was over and he signed as a free agent with the new San Jose Sharks franchise. John only played four games for San Jose during their inagural season and spend most of his time playing for Kansas City (AHL). When the 92-93 season started,John had a regular spot on the Sharks team and went on to play 55 games for San Jose. That season was his last in the NHL. During a NHL exhibition game in 1993 he suffered a serious eye injury. He continued to play in the AHL for another two seasons (Providence, Worcester). But the eye injury caused him problems and a lot of pain. After eight surgeries his eye was finally removed in 1996. It was a sad ending to John's career.
Early in 1999 John got some unexpected positive news. It wasn't about his eye, but about his NCAA championship ring from 1985. During the summer of 1986, John lost his NCAA hockey championship ring while taking a swim near his home town of Woburn, MA. It slipped off his finger and sank 30 feet to the murky bottom of a lake.
13-years later a glint of light reflected off the ring, catching the eye of a passing scuba diver, who brought it back to the surface and tracked down its rightful owner.
John was happy to to get his ring back.
"It is unbelievable,'' John said. "He (the scuba diver) was out over 30 feet, and it just caught the corner of his eye. The chances of that are just astronomical,'' he added. "I didn't even think they scuba dived in that area "
The scuba diver, Jim O'Connell of Arlington, Mass., didn't ask much in return -- only a photo or two with Carter, and a chance to show the ring off to his scuba class.
John, who went on to train College teams in Massachusetts, never was a star player in the NHL but he had good overall skills that gave him a pretty descent hockey career which included an NCAA championship,a trip to the World Championships and a Stanley Cup final, which is more than most players ever achieve