Born: November 26, 1996 Age: 18 Hometown: Colorado Springs, CO Height: 6’5’’ Weight: 196 Position: D (Right Shot) Team: Tri-City (WHL) CSS Rank: 25th among North American Skaters
A big, right-shot defenceman sits in the 25th spot of NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings of North American skaters. Tri-City’s Brandon Carlo stands at 6-foot-5 and weighs in at close to 200 pounds. His wingspan measured to 80.50 inches at this past weekend’s Scouting Combine in Buffalo, NY.
The hulking blueliner is coming off a 25-point (4-21-25) season in 63 games for the WHL’s Tri-City Americans. He played the role of stay-at-home defenceman at World Juniors for Team USA, and impressed scouts while doing so.
“It was a great experience and huge honour for me to play on Team USA at World Juniors,” said Carlo. “I kind of came into those camps knowing my role as more of a stay-at-home defensive guy. I feel like there were a lot of offensively talented guys and I just took a step back and looked at that. I felt like that was my best opportunity to make the team. I had a really good experience throughout that whole tournament with those guys. I felt I played good and a good amount of minutes as well.”
Carlo’s size and skating ability are listed among his greatest assets.
“He’s a really good skater and has great mobility for a player his size,” said Central Scouting’s John Williams. “The reach and range are there. He handles the puck well and is one of the best guys I’ve seen this year at being able to pass off the boards to a teammate.”
Carlo was selected captain for the Colorado Thunderbirds U16 team in 2012-13, recording 47 points (10-37-47) in 41 games. He began playing hockey at the age of five.
He is predicted to be a late first-round pick or early second-round selection.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
Elite Prospects’ Curtis Joe: “Brandon Carlo is an industrious, shift-by-shift defenceman who lets the game come to him rather than chasing the play; he is able to quickly adapt to the pace of the game on the fly. Though maneuvering his way around the ice and making high-percentage, skilled decisions in all three zones, he is able to shut the opposition offence down before it begins to take shape. Carlo is a smooth skater who can control the puck very well and get into open areas for scoring chances; that being said, he does and will need help finding offence due to his natural defensive style of play. All-in-all, a towering, defensive d-man that has very few holes in his game and is physically ready to take the next step.”
A scout, per The Hockey News: “Is he going to be a power play guy? I’m not so sure. There’s a possibility for him, and he has a lot of intriguing things about him that you like— size, skating, how well he moves the puck. Just a matter of how he develops.”
Future Considerations: “A big, nasty, physical defensive defender. He’s an absolute monster out on the ice and skates extremely well for his size. His footwork is not perfect but definitely at a higher level than you would expect for someone who is six-foot-five. He’s got a good, powerful skating stride and displays good lateral mobility. He is constantly in players’ faces, chirping and talking trash… He’s a big minute-muncher type— think Braydon Colborn— who is best at keeping things simple and safe. While he does rely a lot on his size and strength at this level, we think he has the toolbox to still “play the game” at the next level. His size and skating combo is rare and coveted by NHL teams.”