Boston Bruins Prospect: Closer Look at Brandon Carlo


The Boston Bruins found themselves with several voids to fill entering this year’s NHL Entry Draft. One of the most severe areas was defense, and in the second round with the 37th overall pick, Boston made a step in the right direction while addressing that matter.

With their first pick of the second round, Boston drafted Brandon Carlo (6-foot5, 196 lb), defenseman from Tri-City of the Western Hockey League. The American-born defender has made a name for himself as a smooth skating, crisp passing defensemen. The Bruins, with the departure of Dougie Hamilton, have been in search of a similar, mobile defensemen. As a result, general manager Don Sweeney utilized the team’s first pick in drafting Jakub Zboril 13th overall in order to help infiltrate future active d-men into the team’s system.

The additions of both Zboril and Carlo aid the Bruins down the road. These are highly thought of prospects, and both are considered solid skaters.

TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button is one of the many pundits who thinks highly of this 18-year-old. In Button’s scouting report, Carlo received a 4/5 in skating. He was given a 3/5 in both smarts and shot, while receiving a 2/5 in hands. Carlo’s overall compete level was deemed a 4/5 by Button.

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Carlo is noted for his smoothness as a defender. While not considered an offensive contributor, Carlo can still move the puck efficiently. His skating brings balance to his game. He can mesh against an opposing rush seamlessly and stab a puck away, regaining possession. Carlo gaps up nicely, taking space away from opposing forwards while not getting caught on his heels often. His ability to already work well along the boards passing to teammates rose his stock value, especially to Sweeney who is anticipating his defense to evolve better along the boards.

Last season with his WHL squad, Carlo posted solid numbers for a defensemen of his nature. In 63 games with Tri-City, Carlo scored 4 goals and added 21 assists for 25 points. The assists are what make last season’s numbers interesting. Carlo’s ability to dish pucks effectively to forwards means he’s becoming more involved in the offense, which is reassuring for the Bruins. He served 90 PIM last season as well, rehashing his brawn and physicality. Back in the 2013-14 season, Carlo netted 3 goals and contributed 10 assists for 33 points. He served 66 PIM.

Carlo was an assistant captain last season for the Americans. In 2012-13, Carlo was the captain for the Colorado Thunderbirds under-16 team. In 41 games, he compiled 47 points (10-37—47). Born in Colorado Springs, Colo., Carlo wasn’t introduced to hockey until age 5, per, as he played roller hockey with friends around his neighborhood.

One of Carlo’s most humbling experiences was being in the lineup for Team USA during the 2015 World Junior Championship against team Canada. Carlo called it his ‘most memorable hockey moment’: “I got chills because of how loud it was and it’s something I’ll never forget”.

Carlo plays similarly to that of Tampa’s Braydon Coburn. Both are good skaters, solid puck movers, and have the toughness of a defensemen.

NHL Central Scouting’s John Williams thought highly of Carlo entering the draft, also. Not only is his size evident, but his ability to bring balance to a defense as well.

“He’s a really good skater and has great mobility for a player his size”, Williams said. “The reach and range are there. He handles the puck well and is one of the best guys I’ve seen this year at being able to pass off the boards to a teammate.”

Next: Closer Look at Jake DeBrusk

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