The Bruins re-signed defenseman Brandon Carlo to a 6-year, $24.6 million contract that will keep him in Boston until he is 30 years old. The signing is a win for both Carlo and the Bruins, who lock up their second-best defenseman at a reasonable price.
Carlo, 24, was drafted by the Bruins in the second round of the 2015 NHL Draft. The Bruins drafting struggles of the last decade have been well documented, but Carlo is one of the impact players that they have selected. Since entering the NHL in 2016, Carlo has averaged 20:13 of ice time per game and brought a big, physical presence to the Bruins blue line.
Carlo is the second-best defenseman on the team behind Charlie McAvoy and will anchor the Bruins second defense pairing for the length of the contract. The only concern with Carlo is health. He has battled injury issues over the last several years and had the worst of it this past season, playing in only 27 regular season games and 8 of 11 playoff contests. Carlo did play at least 72 regular season games each season from 2016-19 and all 24 playoff games of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final run, but his health is certainly something to monitor closely over the course of the deal.
The Bruins and Carlo are hoping that his bad injury luck is just that, bad injury luck. Carlo has shown he is a great second pairing defenseman and solid, but not elite, first pair player when needed. Having Carlo in the fold for the next six years is a win for Boston as they look to win their first championship since 2011. Having a big, tough defenseman like Carlo is a prerequisite to go on deep playoff runs. The Bruins need to add another defenseman to go alongside Carlo on the second pair in order to truly elevate their contending status, but locking up Carlo is a great move in itself.