Boston Bruins: 3 players with the most to prove in the 2021-22 NHL season

Jake DeBrusk #74 of the Boston Bruins (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)
Jake DeBrusk #74 of the Boston Bruins (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images) /
2 of 4
Boston Bruins
Brandon Carlo #25 of the Boston Bruins (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Three Boston Bruins players with the most to prove in the 2021-22 season

No. 3: Brandon Carlo

When healthy, Brandon Carlo is one of the most impactful defenders on the Bruins roster. Boston’s front office was clearly aware of that, and handed a fruitful extension to the young defender this offseason. Carlo cashed in on a six year, $24 million deal early in the offseason, ensuring he will spend most of his prime seasons with the Bruins.

To be clear, Carlo doesn’t have to prove he can perform when he’s on the ice for the Bruins this season. He has to prove he can actually stay on the ice for the Bruins in order for this deal to be worth it.

Related Story. Is Tuukka's time in Boston up?. light

Carlo has dealt with an extensive list of injuries throughout his career, including multiple concussions last season. It wasn’t surprising to see the momentum in the Islanders series swing New York’s way after Carlo was forced out of the series with another injury early on. With Carlo out, the Bruins defense faltered, and was primarily responsible for Boston’s early exit.

Carlo has to prove to be able to stay on the ice this season in order for the Bruins to be successful. He’s been a rock for the Bruins defense when he’s been on the ice, and is easily one of the best pure defenders on this team. If he can stay on the ice, his new deal will be a steal for Boston.

But that’s a big “if” for Carlo, and it will be interesting to see if he can stay healthy this season after missing large chunks of last season. After playing 82 games his rookie year, the number of games Carlo has played in has decreased each year since, hitting a low of 27 last season. It seems likely Carlo will surpass that total this upcoming season, but he needs to prove he can consistently stay on the ice, and that needs to start now.