The Boston Bruins roster projections continue to roll on out. Now, we’ll be taking a look at the Bruins defenseman most likely to be on the right side.
The right side of the Bruins defense certainly has talent, but it is far less inexperienced. Kevan Miller has been around the longest of the trio, but he’s only entering his fifth year in the NHL.
The three on the right are pretty clear: Brandon Carlo, Kevan Miller and Charlie McAvoy. The question is how will the three order on the depth chart?
First string: Brandon Carlo / Projection: +11, 8 goals, 12 assists, 20 points
Brandon Carlo is coming off a strong rookie season. The 20-year-old was +9 on the ice and showed consistent play throughout the year.
He provided steady offensive numbers as well, lighting the lamp six times and recording 10 helpers.
What is most impressive about his rookie year was that he managed to play all 82 games. The NHL season is long and demanding, most players are bound to miss at least a couple of games with an injury of some sort.
Unfortunately, the injury bug caught up with the Bruins in the playoffs. Carlo missed the Bruins six game series against the Ottawa Senators with a concussion. Carlo’s exit was the first of several Bruins defenseman in the playoffs.
With a strong rookie season under his belt, he looks to get even better with more experience. The Bruins should be excited about what he could do for them in the post season.
Expect Carlo to start alongside Zdeno Chara.
Second string: Kevan Miller / Projection: +3, 3 goals, 11 assists, 13 points
Kevan Miller isn’t the greatest defenseman in the world, but he is serviceable enough.
The 29-year-old is coming off a down season and will look to bounce back. After having a positive double-digit plus minus in his first three seasons, Miller was +1 on the ice in 2016-2017.
Miller has never been known for his offense, but he’ll find the back of the net on occasion. He’s had back to back seasons with double-digit assists.
During the NHL Expansion Draft, the Bruins had the options of either protecting Kevan Miller or Colin Miller. Colin was young and had decent upside, so leaving him exposed meant the Bruins feel confident that Kevan will bounce back.
The Bruins endgame seems to be pairing Charlie McAvoy alongside Torey Krug, but while McAvoy earns his minutes alongside the third string defense, we will likely see Kevan skating with Krug.
Third string: Charlie McAvoy / Projection: +8, 4 goals, 10 assists, 14 points
The Bruins hope that Charlie McAvoy will become one of the game’s next superstar defenseman and their successor to Zdeno Chara.
There is no telling whether or not McAvoy will live up to the hype, but his performance in last year’s playoffs are certainly a positive sign.
In last season’s first-round series against the Ottawa Senators, Boston’s blue line was decimated with injuries. The loss of several key contributors forced the Bruins to call up McAvoy earlier than originally planned.
McAvoy’s debut certainly wasn’t anything exceptional, he did very well given the circumstances. He was -2 in his six games, but he was forced to play against a hot Ottawa team that played a very challenging scheme.
Projecting McAvoy’s rookie season is tough given the small sample size, but if it’s half as good as Carlo’s then the Bruins have a lot to be excited about.