The Washington Capitals have re-signed defenseman John Carlson to an eight-year contract, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. Carlson's contract will carry an average annual value of $8.0 million.
Video: John Carlson | June 25
"John has been an exceptional and consistent player for our franchise and has blossomed into being one of the top defensemen in the NHL," said MacLellan. "Defenseman like John are a rare commodity in our League and, at 28 years of age, we feel he is just entering his prime. As a right-handed defenseman, John plays in all key situations and has contributed greatly to our team's success on the special teams. We are pleased for both parties to have come to an agreement and for him to continue his great career as a Washington Capital."
Video: One-on-One | John Carlson
Carlson, 28, recorded a career-high 15 goals and 53 assists last season and his 68 points led all NHL defensemen. Carlson became the eighth defensemen in franchise history to record 60 points in a season and the first since Mike Green in 2009-10 (76 points, 19g, 57a). In addition, the Natick, Mass., native recorded the seventh-highest single season point total in franchise history. Carlson became the third Capitals defenseman to lead the NHL in points since 2000 (Sergei Gonchar: 2001-02, 59 points; Mike Green: 2008-09, 2009-10: 73 and 76 points, respectively). Carlson's 24:47 minutes per game was tied for 12th in the NHL and a new personal high. The 6'3", 218-pound defenseman finished fifth in the Norris Trophy vote as the NHL's top defenseman.
Carlson was selected by the Capitals in the first round, 27th overall, in the 2008 NHL Draft. Carlson has earned 333 points (77g, 256a) in 608 career NHL games with Washington and ranks sixth all-time among franchise defensemen in career assists and seventh in games played, goals and points. His 199 points (44g, 155a) over the last four seasons is the ninth-most in the NHL among defensemen. Carlson is one of 28 active defensemen with at least 300 career points.
During the Capitals' Stanley Cup run, Carlson recorded 20 points (5g, 15a), which is a franchise record by a defenseman in the postseason. Additionally, Carlson's playoff point total was the third-most in a single postseason by a defenseman in the playoffs over the last five seasons. In 100 career playoff games, Carlson has recorded 55 points (18g, 37a). He leads the franchise in career playoff goals and points and ranks third in assists.
Carlson recorded 37 points (9g, 28a) in 72 games with the Capitals during the 2016-17 season. He ranked first among Capitals defensemen in goals and assists and finished second in points.
Since entering the league in 2009, Carlson has participated in a full season six times. Carlson played in his 600th NHL/Capitals game on March 24, 2018 at Montreal. He is one of eight defensemen in franchise history to reach the 600-game mark. Carlson also holds the third-longest consecutive games played streak in franchise history, appearing in 412 consecutive games from April 9, 2010 to Dec. 26, 2015.
Internationally Carlson has represented the United States at the World Cup (2016), the Olympic Games (2014) and the World Junior Championship (2010). As an alternate captain for the 2010 World Junior Championship team, Carlson won a gold medal and scored the overtime championship winner against Canada. He was named to the World Junior Championship All Star Team and led all World Junior Championship defensemen in goals scored (3).