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Give Blood, Score Carlson Doll

by Mike Vogel / Washington Capitals
The last 25 months have been a whirlwind for Caps defenseman John Carlson. Drafted by the Caps in the first round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Carlson was one of the OHL’s top defensemen in 2008-09, playing for Dale Hunter’s London Knights and earning team MVP honors.

At the conclusion of the Knights’ ’08-09 campaign, Carlson was summoned to Hershey of the AHL, where he got into 16 postseason games and was regarded by some veteran observers as one of the ripest teen-aged prospects in recent memory. Carlson helped the Bears to the club’s 10th Calder Cup championship in the spring of 2009.

The Massachusetts native opened the 2009-10 season with the Bears before being recalled to Washington in late November to make his NHL debut. Less than two months after that, he was making history in Western Canada, as he scored the overtime game-winning goal to lead Team USA to victory in the gold medal game against Team Canada in the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Carlson scored his first NHL goal shortly thereafter, victimizing Carolina’s Manny Legace. Carlson also netted his first Stanley Cup playoff goal in the spring of 2010, beating Montreal’s Jaroslav Halak in the waning seconds of regulation to force overtime in a game Washington eventually won.

Upon the Capitals’ ouster from the playoffs, Carlson rejoined the Bears and greatly aided the cause as Hershey became the first AHL team in nearly two decades to author back-to-back championships. The 20-year-old has played nearly 200 hockey games since being drafted, and he has certainly earned the right to relax a bit this summer.

Carlson’s off-season plans include a trip to the District later this month on Sat. July 24 to spearhead the Capitals and Inova Summer 2010 Blood Drive in Dulles, Va. Blood donors will receive an extremely cool and nifty John Carlson bobblehead doll, pictured here. The doll captures Carlson in a pose similar to that of his celebration after his landmark goal at the 2010 WJC.

For more information on the blood drive and to schedule an appointment, click here.

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