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2018-2019 Player Ratings: Brandon Carlo made strides during his best NHL season yet

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Plus, he got to play in the playoffs!

2019 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Toward the end of the regular season, there were certain segments of Bruins Twitter (myself included) calling for the Bruins to sit Brandon Carlo. Get him out of there, scratch him.

However, it wasn’t due to poor play: it was due to the fact that Carlo, he of the borderline criminally bad luck when it comes to season-ending injury, was on the verge of playing in the playoffs for the first time in his NHL career.

Luckily for Carlo and the Bruins, he stayed healthy and played solid hockey all year long in what was his best NHL season to date.

Carlo continued his evolution as an NHL player, improving in some areas and continuing to be good in others. His skating and reach remain tremendous assets, and he has started using his size more in the corners.

Of course, this season wasn’t without speed bumps. Carlo did have the occasional gaffe, and had nights where he looked a step behind opposing forwards.

Still, those nights were few and far between, and were certain less frequent than they were during the 2 prior seasons.

There’s room for Carlo to grow, and he’s going to need to grow as Zdeno Chara continues to head toward the sunset. Carlo and Charlie McAvoy figure to be the Bruins’ pillars on the blue line for the next several seasons, making it essential that the Bruins get them both under contract before the season starts.

It’s also worth noting that Carlo is still young. Many people point to McAvoy as being a young stud ahead of the curve, but Carlo is only a year older. It’s a cliche, but everyone knows defensemen take longer to develop at the NHL level.

With Carlo and McAvoy already playing at pretty high levels, there’s certainly reason to be excited going forward...provided that the Bruins can get them under contract.

Carlo should have at least one more season with Chara on the same bench, so hopefully he can soak up some more good habits and continue to learn how to use his length to his advantage.

With his frequent defense partner potentially on the move (though probably not), Carlo is probably going to be asked to carry a heavier load this season.

If last year is any indicator, he’s ready.

Aggregated Grade: 7.6/10

Jake’s Rating: 8

Dan’s Rating: 8

Sky’s Rating: 8

Shawn’s Rating: 7

Adam’s Rating: 7