When asked at the beginning of the season which new players would be standouts for the Boston Bruins, not many fans were looking the way of Brandon Carlo. In the first ten games of the season, the 19-year-old has proven to be a player who may end up exceeding expectations.
The 6″5″ Colorado native was selected 37th overall in the second round of the 2015 NHL entry draft by Boston from the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League. In the season prior to the draft, he had scored four goals and 25 points in 63 games played. After finishing the season in the WHL with 27 points, he spent eight games with Boston’s AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins.
Brandon Carlo Excels in First Ten Games
In training camp, Carlo proved himself a good candidate for a spot on Boston’s blue line. There was speculation that he might be sent to Providence along with fellow rookies Rob O’Gara and Matt Grzelcyk, given his age and experience level, but there was a gap that needed to be filled in the lineup. Management was unable to reach a deal with PTO Christian Ehrhoff, and Kevan Miller suffered a pre-season injury.
Carlo netted an assist in his NHL debut against the Columbus Blue Jackets. His first NHL goal followed a few days later against the Winnipeg Jets. He consistently plays more than 20 minutes a night, paired with team captain, and ice time leader, Zdeno Chara. He has managed three points and a plus-9 through his first ten games, even helping out goalie Tuukka Rask with a save in the most recent game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Despite initial hesitation from fans, Carlo has proven himself to be an excellent defenseman. The fact that Boston’s blue line has suffered significant set-backs in recent years means that there are opportunities for young defensemen to stand out and make a name for themselves. Brandon Carlo has done exactly that. He has shown that he has the physical presence, offensive skill, and defensive responsibility of a much older player. Hopefully, he will be able to remain consistent and prove to management that he is worthy of staying on the Boston roster for the rest of the season.