The Boston Bruins knew they would lean heavily on Brandon Carlo in a transitional year on the back end. The Colorado Springs native ascended to the second longest-tenured Boston defensemen after Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug departed respectively for Washington and St. Louis in the off-season.
Carlo gained significant knowledge of NHL life skating with Chara and Krug during his first four seasons. He adapted well in different assignments next to a big shutdown guy in Chara and an offensive-minded blue-liner in Krug.
Now he’s one of the anchors on the right-side of the blue-line along with Charlie McAvoy. Unlike the former Boston University standout — at least up until Jeremy Lauzon’s injury during Sunday’s 7-3 win over the Flyers in Lake Tahoe — Carlo found himself skating with a rotating door of fellow defensemen on the second pair.
Carlo began his season paired with another dynamic puck-moving blue-liner Matt Grzelcyk. The Charlestown native frequently finds himself on the injury list dealing with a lower-body ailment for most of the year. In his absence, Connor Clifton, John Moore and Urho Vaakanainen skated with Carlo on the second defensive unit.