While the 2019-2020 NHL season is currently on hold, the Bruins saw improvement from many of their players. David Pastrnak continued to become a star, Anders Bjrok stayed healthy, and Jeremy Lauzon proved that he was ready for the NHL.
One player who stood out, however, was defenseman Brandon Carlo. The former second-round pick showed that he could handle increased responsibility and improved in all aspects of the game.
Coming into the 2019-2020 campaign, Brandon Carlo was not known for his offense. After scoring six goals during his rookie campaign, Carlo only found the back of the net twice in the two previous seasons. During this season, however, Carlo scored four goals and recorded a career-high 19 points. He also landed 111 shots on net, which is only five short of tying his total from the 2018-2019 season.
Brandon Carlo with his second goal of the year.
So far, 11 different Bruins skaters have recorded at least a point tonight.
5-1 Bruins. pic.twitter.com/zzTwWubAf5
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) October 30, 2019
Additionally, Carlo has taken a step forward defensively. In 67 games, Carlo was able to land 126 hits and block 76 shots. He averaged 20:29 ice time per game, which was only 30 seconds less than his career-high. Although those numbers do not represent a career year, Carlo was on pace for one before the coronavirus pandemic.
Furthermore, Carlo has 31 takeaways this year, which is only 11 shy of his total from last year. The Colorado native also has a plus/minus of 16, which the second-best total of his career. The 2019-2020 campaign has been a reminder of how much Carlo means to the franchise.
— Boston Bruins on CLNS (@BruinsCLNS) December 18, 2019
Before last season, injuries prevented Carlo from appearing in a postseason game. In his first taste of postseason action, Carlo performed well as he recorded four points in 24 games. He also had a plus/minus rating of 10 and had one game-winning goal. The former 37th overall pick showed that he could handle the added pressure as he had an average ice time of 21:31
What has stood out the most about the Bruins’ defenseman this year is the impact he has on the game. Throughout the season, Carlo continually made game-changing plays that don’t show up on the stat sheet. He has developed a knack for breaking up two-on-ones and stopping prime scoring chances.
— Boston Bruins on CLNS (@BruinsCLNS) November 11, 2019
Carlo’s development has been a welcoming sign as the Bruins’ blueline does have some question marks. Torey Krug is set to become a free agent this summer and Zdeno Chara’s career is winding down. Depending on what the future holds, the Bruins may need Carlo to step up and fill one of their spots.
Although the future of this season is unknown, Carlo has proved just valuable he is to the Bruins’ success.