Boston Bruins: Brandon Carlo Enters Critical Year

Over the past four seasons, Brandon Carlo has become a staple of the Boston Bruins blueline. The second-round pick has appeared in 297 regular-season games for the Bruins and is coming off a career year offensively. Entering next season, Carlo will play a vital role as the Bruins look to make a deep playoff run. However, he will be entering the final year of his current deal and is expected to be a popular name on the free-agent market.

In four seasons with Boston, Carlo has scored 12 goals and recorded 39 assists. The Colorado native has never been an offensive powerhouse but had a career-high 15 assists last season. He also was more aggressive offensively as in a shortened regular season, Carlo attempted 111 shots, only five short of his total from 2018-2019.

While Carlo improved in the offensive zone, he was still steady defensively. In 67 games, he blocked 76 shots and landed 126 hits. While those totals fell short from last season, Carlo was able to land the second most hits of his career. The fourth-year defenseman also had 31 takeaways, which is the second-highest total of his career.

Additionally, next season Carlo will be without his usual partner due to the departure of Torey Krug in free agency. He will most likely be paired with Matt Grzelcyk who the Bruins recently signed to an extension. Regardless of how the season plays out Carlo will be looking for a healthy raise after signing a team friendly deal in 2019.

Furthermore, Carlo has excelled in the playoffs. In 37 postseason games, the former second-round pick has recorded five points and landed 61 hits. He has also averaged 21:09 of ice time a game and has one game-winning goal. In that span, he has been aggressive offensively and landed 92 shots on net.

Unless the Bruins extend Carlo before next season, he will be a hot commodity on the market. Boston will have significant cap space as Tuukka Rask, Jaroslav Halak, Sean Kuraly, and David Krejci will all be free agents. Keeping Carlo, however, will be one of the Bruins top priorities as he is one of Bruce Cassidys best and most reliable players.

While free agency is unpredictable, Carlo’s value has only grown over the years and should be on display in the coming months.

Jamie Gatlin

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