With training camp slowly approaching on the horizon, the Boston Bruins held their first captains’ practice of the season Thursday morning at Warrior Ice Arena. Among the 20 skaters from the NHL and AHL ranks in attendance, the most notable were David Krejci, John Moore, Adam McQuaid, Matt Grzelcyk and Brandon Carlo.
Carlo spent the past offseason rehabbing and recovering from a fractured ankle that sidelined him for the final six games of the 2017-18 regular season and the entire playoffs. As a rookie, Carlo also missed the Bruins’ first-round loss to the Ottawa Senators the previous April after suffering a concussion in the final game of the 2016-17 regular season.
The 6-foot-5, 208 lb. defenseman stated that even though he has been able to skate for the past month and a half, this was one of the first training sessions that he has really felt comfortable on the ice since the injury occurred in late March.
The Colorado Springs native resumed skating during Bruins Development Camp back in June, however, he admits that he didn’t feel 100 percent.
“I’d say about a month and a half ago I came out here for a short little stent. I got on the ice and it didn’t feel great right away,” Carlo said. “Initially I think it was just breaking down the scar tissue and getting that pressure back on that area I was uncomfortable with but now it feels great. I’m feeling really good.”
Moving forward toward the 2018 campaign, Carlo expects to have no contact or minute restrictions by the time training camp starts on Sept. 10.
Carlo’s return to action is a real positive for Boston’s blue-line depth, as the 21-year-old is expected to compete for minutes alongside Moore, McQuaid, Grzelcyk, Charlie McAvoy, Torey Krug, Kevan Miller and captain Zdeno Chara.
During his two seasons with the Bruins, Carlo has notched 22 points in 158 games for the Black and Gold and has been known for his size and stature in the defensive corners on the ice.
At the time of his injury, Carlo was playing some of his best hockey of the season and he hopes to pick up right where he left off, although he knows there is plenty of areas where he can still improve his game in order to compete in the now star-studded Atlantic Division.
“I want to improve a lot of things in my game. I think every player in this locker room comes in here trying to do that; especially the young guys,” Carlo said. “Overall for myself, I think just playing with confidence and believing in myself is the biggest thing I can do right now and my skills will follow along.”