20 Under 25 Rankings: #8 - Brandon Carlo


20 Under 25 Rankings: #8 - Brandon Carlo

TURNS 25: NOVEMBER 26, 2021

It happened a bit sooner than expected, but 20-year-old Brandon Carlo is beginning to realize a bright future on the back end for the Bruins.

Instead of needing multiple years of AHL development, the 6-foot-5 blueliner was able to jump into the mix as a shutdown defenseman right from the start of preseason while showing strength, poise and plenty of upside. It’s perhaps a little bit of a surprise that Carlo was the first member of the vaunted 2015 Bruins draft class to establish himself at the NHL level, but he was also the closest to physical readiness for the NHL when he was picked at the top of the second round.

Interestingly for the Bruins, Carlo was selected with one of the second-round picks they acquired from the New York Islanders in the Johnny Boychuk trade and has essentially replaced No. 55 on Boston’s back end a couple of years later.

There is still plenty of development time coming for Carlo at the NHL level, and he’s just begun to scratch the surface offensively with a strong point shot and an innate ability to make good decisions with the puck coming out of the breakout. But the size, the wing span, the good stick in the D-zone and a frame that’s going to put on size and strength scream out defensive stopper for the Bruins for years to come, with Zdeno Chara as the perfect veteran to apprentice Carlo.

Carlo might never be an NHL All-Star or become a very flashy player, but he's strong, tough and smart, and exactly the kind of blueliner a hockey club needs.

'Leprechaun' Gronk dropping more hints about future plans - sort of

'Leprechaun' Gronk dropping more hints about future plans - sort of

Rob Gronkowski, decked out in his finest St. Patrick's Day duds over the weekend in Nashville, reportedly tried to shed some light on his NFL future.

Of course, while Gronk was doing Gronk things, he told a Patriots fan one thing and a reporter another.

Breech is an NFL writer for His father is former Cincinnati Bengals kicker Jim Breech. And the "69ers" aren't a real team.


'Light at end of tunnel' for Bergeron's return

'Light at end of tunnel' for Bergeron's return

BRIGHTON, Mass – The long regional nightmare for Bruins fans might be coming to an end sooner rather than later.

That’s because Patrice Bergeron hopped on the ice on Monday morning at Warrior Ice Arena ahead of his team’s morning skate and then stuck around to jump in and out of drills while showing strong progress from his fractured right foot suffered at the end of February. 

Clearly,  Bergeron isn’t ready to play now and will miss his 11th consecutive game Monday night when the B's face the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night at TD Garden.

Still, it looks like No. 37 will be headed on the four-game road trip after the game and could potentially become an option to play at some point over the next week or two. Certainly, it’s a sign that Bergeron is going to be able to come back and play meaningful games before the playoffs. That’s something that has the 32-year-old excited after missing the past three weeks.

“It was nice to be back on the ice and skating. It felt good. It’s been a long three weeks, but it was nice to finally move forward and be on the ice. It was definitely nice to be on the ice with the guys,” said Bergeron, who skated on Sunday with Bruins Skating and Skills Coach Kim Branvold as well. “There’s definitely still some discomfort, but it’s a lot better. That was to be expected that it wasn’t going to be perfect when I was back right away.

“I’m seeing a light at the end of the tunnel right now being on the ice. We’re trying not to set a timeline right now, but just make sure I feel good and have my bearings on the ice. So far I’m happy with where we’re at.”

Certainly, it would be good timing if Bergeron returned soon when it appears David Backes (deep laceration on his right leg) is going to miss a week or two and Jake DeBrusk is out with no timetable for a return after getting dinged with a big hit in Carolina on Boston’s most recent trip.

Impressively, the Bruins have gone 8-2-0 since Bergeron has been out. Riley Nash has been a point-per-game player in March while filling in for No. 37 with three goals and nine points in nine games along with a plus-4 rating. Still, the Bruins all know their all-around game will rise to another level when they get their best all-around player back in the lineup and re-form what’s been the best two-way forward in the NHL this season with Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak.