The Boston Bruins dealt with numerous injuries over the course of the 2017-18 season, but that didn’t stop the team from getting into the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs last season. One injury that truly crippled the team was the loss of defenseman Brandon Carlo right at the end of the season with a broken fibula. While the team is solid on defense, the presence of the 6-foot-5 blueliner has been critical to their team.
Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont writes that Carlo injury is fully healed as x-rays were clean and the 21-year-old has already been skating for more than a month. Not an offensive defenseman, Carlo has had trouble adjusting to the NHL physical game, having spent his rookie campaign next to Zdeno Chara and then being teamed up as the defensive presence to offensive sparkplug Torey Krug. However, Carlo said he’s added close to 10 pounds of muscle to his frame this offseason and is ready to take the bulk of another full campaign in Boston.
“I think last year was good for me in an aspect,” Carlo said, “to learn so much about myself and my game. Coming into this third year, I have really high expectations for myself. I expect to be back on track with helping out in every aspect that I can. I think overall I have to come in with a little bit of a chip on my shoulder and have a little more confidence in myself and my overall game.”
- While there are many people who feel that winger Brady Tkachuk, who announced his intention of going pro Saturday, might be better served playing with the OHL London Knights or the AHL’s Belleville Senators next year to continue his development, Bruce Garrioch of The Ottawa Sun writes that Tkachuk actually has as good a shot of anyone on the roster to make the NHL squad out of training camp. The team isn’t deep at the left wing position, which includes players such as Ryan Dzingel, Mikkel Boedker, Max McCormick, Magnus Paajarvi, Tom Pyatt and Zack Smith. Not exactly top of the line. Considering that Smith is likely to move to center next year and Pyatt could move to the right side, if needed, there is plenty of space for Tkachuk if he impresses in training camp.
- Historically, players picked at No. 12 in the NHL Draft usually don’t end up with their NHL time right away in their first season, but that could be a possibility when it comes to New York Islanders 2018 first-round pick Noah Dobson. The 18-year-old prospect showed off his skills with a dominant performance at the World Junior Showcase for Canada by posting five goals in three games. The Athletic’s Arthur Staple (subscription required) writes another impressive showing at training camp in front of coach Barry Trotz could force the team’s hand to keep him, considering the team’s lack of depth on defense.
- While the Montreal Canadiens didn’t make too many waves this offseason, the team did sign several smaller names, including Michael Peca, Xavier Ouellet, Kenny Agostino and Michael Chaput. The 26-year-old Chaput is an interesting case as he’s played 135 NHL games already in his career, but with the exception of a 68-games season back in 2016-17, the center has spent most of his career in the AHL. Now, with many openings potentially available in Montreal, Chaput feels he’s got a great shot a full-time role with Montreal this year, according to NHL.com’s Matt Cudzinowski. “My mindset is to try and make this team. I want to play for the Canadiens. That’s my main goal. That’s what I’m working towards,” said Chaput.