Brandon Carlo is ready to put the past behind him and focus on the upcoming NHL season.
The Boston Bruins defenseman has watched his team compete in the Stanley Cup Playoffs from above the ice on each of the past two seasons. A concussion sidelined him in 2017 and a fractured ankle robbed him of his second straight opportunity to be with the Black and Gold in the postseason this past campaign.
“From my experience in the NHL so far, it’s been two years where I’ve been up in the press box watching the playoffs with you guys,” Carlo said, via MassLive’s Conor Ryan at Thursday’s Bruins captains’ practice. “It’s really hard for me. Overall, I kind of just want to put that past me and focus on this next year.”
Although the 21-year-old just resumed skating in late June after severely breaking his ankle in March, he said he expects to be 100 percent come training camp in September.
“No restrictions. I’m expecting to be full everything — full contact, all that. Feeling good about that, feeling confident about that,” Carlo said. “Just took a little bit of time to heal, so I listened to the doctor’s orders.”
Carlo began to show a lot of promise later in his sophomore season after beginning the campaign by making mistakes on the ice. But the defenseman is ready to leave the past in the past.
“I feel like every guy in this room is going to make a mistake here and now and again. Overall, I just started believing in myself a little more,” he said. “I think confidence is the biggest thing that I’m coming into camp with this year. I’m going to take it and I’m going to run with it.”
Carlo ultimately will be battling it out with John Moore, Matt Grzelcyk, Kevan Miller and Adam McQuaid for a spot on the second and third defensive pairing. Zdeno Chara and Charlie McAvoy once again will be the top pairing, while Torey Krug likely will be slotted in the second pairing.
Thumbnail photo via Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports Images