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2015 NHL Draft Profile: Brandon Carlo Is Big, And Could Be Ready To Play Professional Hockey

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2015 NHL Draft Profile: Scouts think Brandon Carlo could be ready for the next step.

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The Detroit Red Wings are a team who have been in a defensive limbo ever since the departure of highly-heralded defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom. After the last few years, it's been pretty apparent that Detroit is in dire need of a shutdown defender who can log big minutes, and serve a purpose in all three zones. With Niklas Kronwall in his decline, and Jonathan Ericsson being, well, Jonathan Ericsson, the Red Wings should look for a true shutdown defender with a big frame in this year's draft.

One of the alluring names on the table in Detroit's draft-range is Colorado-native defenseman Brandon Carlo. A big kid, with fantastic skating abilities. Has been regarded as a true shutdown defender at the junior level. Most scouts state that he is close to NHL ready due to his mobility, size, physicality, and booming shot.

Player Profile:

Name: Brandon Carlo
Position: Defenseman
Born: November 11, 1996 -- Colorado Springs, CO
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 185 lbs.
Shoots: Right

Season Team League GP Goals Assists Points PIM Plus/Minus
2013-14 Tri-City Americans WHL 71 3 10 13 66 -13
2014-15 Tri-City Americans WHL 63 4 21 25 90 -15


Kyle's Analysis:

Brandon Carlo is built. He's a towering defenseman, but a bit on the lanky side. He'll definitely need to focus on adding some muscle. The reason why he's been ranked highly is because of his size, and that puts him closer to being ready for NHL action. He's far from a "risky" defenseman, he lets the game come to him, rather than going after it. For a player of his stature, his skating abilities are more than exceptional, and when you can be mobile with that sort of frame, any team would be chomping at the bit to get you.

My biggest concern is that he seems to have very little offensive instinct. You could label him a "stay-at-home" defenseman, and I have the belief that players like that are quickly becoming more and more obsolete with the way the NHL is trending. He certainly strikes me as a Tyler Myers type of player. Maybe not as much offensive flare, but I believe Carlo could potentially learn how to pinch in towards the net to clean up rebounds. Carlo does possess a howitzer of a slapshot, so there is potential for him to be a threat on the blue line with his right-hand shot. The upside to having a player with the defensive vision that Carlo possesses is that he can break up plays extremely well, making him a useful asset to have for the PK.

Here is what @TPLHockey has to say about Brandon Carlo:

A lot of mocks have him towards the end of the first round, but he’s my favorite of the remaining defensemen. He’s gigantic (6’5, 185), he makes good decisions all over the ice (which jibes well with Detroit’s style to let the game be quarterbacked by the back end), and he’s just about ready to make the jump to the next level. Working AGAINST this pick, however, is the fact that he’s playing junior hockey and would have to be signed by the Red Wings by 2017, giving them a little less time that they might need to figure out their blueline situation, considering the number of prospects they have and like (Ouellet, Marchenko, Sproul, Hicketts).

STYLE COMPARISON: Erik Johnson

Rankings:

ISS RANKING: #21

NHL CSS RANKING: North American #25

Brandon Carlo will be available late in the 1st round, and likely early in the 2nd round.

Bottom Line:

I'm not sure if Brandon Carlo could trump a player like Jérémy Roy (I wrote about him here), but there is a high possibility that Carlo could slide to the 2nd round, which makes this a bit more interesting. Perhaps Ken Holland could move his 19th overall pick, and acquire a later 1st rounder, and a 2nd rounder, making it possible to take a player like Carlo and possibly another center to add down the middle.

While I wouldn't be upset if they took him at 19th overall, I do believe there will be better players (defense, and forward) available at the time. In a world where offensively-gifted defensemen are at a premium, Brandon Carlo could be a steal if available in the 2nd round.

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