In 2015, the Boston Bruins selected Brandon Carlo in the second round of the NHL draft. Over the years, Carlo has developed into a key part of the Bruins’ blueline and one of the best young defensemen in the NHL. While the former 37th overall pick is not known for his offense, Carlo is currently on pace to set career-highs across the board. Although his numbers do not jump off the page, they show how far the Bruins defenseman has come.
Carlo’s best offensive output came in his rookie season when he had six goals and 10 assists in 82 games. Although he did not have any points on the power play, Carlo did manage to score one shorthanded goal. Over the next two years, Carlo’s offense was a non-factor as he combined for 16 points and only scored two goals. So far this season, however, Carlo has found his offensive game.
Perfect example of Brandon Carlo’s offensive confidence growing.
Sneaks down into the slot and even after the play appears to get broken up, stays there and rings one off the iron. pic.twitter.com/yoPEGZfDnP
— Evan Marinofsky (@EvanMarinofsky) January 3, 2020
Through 43 games this season, Carlo has four goals and nine assists. He has already landed 68 shots on net and as the year has progressed Carlo has looked more comfortable offensively. While the Bruins have struggled as of late, the Colorado native is having the best season of his young career.
Furthermore, Carlo has excelled on both ends of the ice. With a little more than half of the regular season in the books, Carlo has recorded 76 hits and blocked 50 shots. The Colorado native already has 19 takeaways and only eight penalty minutes. He has excelled with added responsibility as he is averaging a career-high ice time of 20:55.
Brandon Carlo fires one in — and Sean Kuraly gets the greasy goal.
2-0 Bruins. pic.twitter.com/XDRFzoPHyz
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) December 31, 2019
Additionally, Carlo is shooting the puck 5.9 percent of the time. That is not only his highest total since his rookie season but nearly four percentage points higher than the 2018-2019 campaign. Fresh off a two-year extension, Carlo is showing why the Bruins believe in him and holding his own offensively.
While the season is far from over, the 23-year-old is proving to be a capable second-line defenseman alongside Torey Krug. He currently has the third most points and of any Bruins defenseman and tied for second in assists with Matt Grzelcyk.
Carlo’s offensive emergence, however, can be traced back to last season, where in 24 playoff games, he had two goals and four assists. It was his first taste of the postseason as injuries had sidelined him in previous years. Although last season ended in bitter disappointment, Carlo has come back even better this year.
Although the former second-round pick still has more room to grow, his offense has been a pleasant surprise for one of hockey’s best teams proving that he is not just a defensive specialist.