Boston Bruins: Brandon Carlo facing big season in contract year

Boston Bruins, Brandon Carlo #25 (Photo by Andre/Ringuette/Getty Images)
Boston Bruins, Brandon Carlo #25 (Photo by Andre/Ringuette/Getty Images) /

The 2020-21 season will be a big season for Bruins defensemen Brandon Carlo.

Boston Bruins defensemen Brandon Carlo is will be entering his fifth season with the Boston Bruins once the 2020-21 season is able to get underway. The 6-foot-5, 221-pound physical presence has been very durable for Boston, having played in 297 games in Boston since he made the club out of training camp at 20 years old in 2016.

No one is going to mistake Carlo as a point-producing defenseman. Last season he set a career-high with 19 points in 67 games. He had four goals and a career-high 15 assists. Again, nobody is expecting offensive production out of him. Anything you get from him is an added bonus for the Bruins.

Things are going to look different on the blue line for Carlo and the Bruins this season. With partner Torey Krug bolting for the St. Louis Blues in free agency and Zdeno Chara still undecided about coming back for his 15th year in Boston, Carlo will find himself in unfamiliar territory. Krug was the offensive player in the pair, while Carlo was more the stay at home defensemen, which is why the duo was the perfect pair for each other.

While the Bruins are going to get younger on defense, the shortened season is going to be a big one for Carlo. He will need to use his size more this year, along with his long reach. Winning battle along the boards has not been much of a problem for him and that will have to continue this season.

Regardless of whether or not Chara returns, Carlo will be adjusting to a new partner. Whoever it is, he will have to be consistent in his positioning in the defensive zone. Last season he averaged 20:29 of ice-time a night during the regular season with a plus-16. The ice-time numbers could easily go up this year with the younger grouping. In the playoffs, he averaged one less second at 20:28.

Another reason that this is a big season for Carlo because he is in his contract year. His two-year deal with $5.7 million that carries a $2.85 million annual average value (AAV) expires following the upcoming season.

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The Bruins know that there might be some growing pains with a new partner, but if they can see his development continue this season, then that can set him up for what everyone hopes is a regular 2021-22 season under a new deal.