A 55-point man back in 2014-15, Carlson has missed 36 games over the last two seasons and seen his scoring rate drop off even when healthy, making him a curious defender to value for the 2017-18 campaign. We all know his raw ability as a puck-moving defenseman is unmatched by anyone outside the position’s upper tier, and while he doesn't have high-end goal-scoring talent, Carlson still puts a lot of pucks on net and enjoys the company of Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom on the Caps’ power play (not to mention often working with them at even strength). At the tender age of 27, one would imagine that Carlson has plenty of good hockey left in him; he’s also hitting the final season of the six-year contract he signed back in 2012, so he'll be looking to bounce back and earn a big paycheck in free agency.
After his big bust-out two years ago, expectations were high for Carlson last year, and he delivered – when he was on the ice. Those 26 games the Caps’ top defenseman missed to a broken ankle/foot (a “lower-body injury,” if you will) were the only thing that could slow him down, as his points per game actually ticked up slightly over the prior year. That’s thanks in part to a big surge in power-play time that can be attributed in part to the departure of former man-advantage fixture Mike Green. With the injury behind him, a whole offseason to get right and a great gig feeding Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and the Capitals’ other ultra-talented forwards, the 26-year-old can be expected to resume his place among fantasy hockey’s most valuable defenders.
Carlson is a beast; there’s no other way to describe him. His breakout 55 points and 200 hits last season are made all the more impressive by the fact that he and partner Brooks Orpik played the Caps’ toughest minutes. They hopped the boards against the opponent’s best and were more likely to start in the defensive zone than the offensive one. Now that Mike Green has moved to Motown, there will be more offensive-zone starts (and scoring opportunities) to go around. Carlson will get his share of that, and that means 60 points could be within reach. He’s only now entering his prime, and a Norris nomination will come sooner rather later. Jump in with two feet.
Despite bringing in a couple of high-profile defensemen in free agency, Carlson still could be the driving force on the blue line for the Caps. Years of inconsistency and injury to Mike Green opened the door for Carlson last season, and he emerged as a solid fantasy performer. He supplanted Green on the team’s top power-play unit and ended up leading the team’s blue line with 24:30 of ice time per game. The U.S. Olympian could occupy more of a shutdown role in 2014-15 with the arrival of new coach Barry Trotz, but it shouldn’t result in too dramatic off a dip in his offense. Given the competition for minutes, there’s more bust than boom potential for Carlson from a fantasy perspective, but he should still be drafted rather highly among the league’s defensemen.
Carlson will be 23 coming into the 2013-2014 season. He played in all 48 games and earned 22 points on 16 assists and six goals. He was on pace for 40 points in a full season, close to his 37 points back in 2010-2011. Carlson will reward owners in formats that count shots, as he tried 97 last season, and should be a good source for assists.
Carlson was tied for eighth among defenseman in goals scored last season with nine and was tied for 19th in points with 32 among the same group. Carlson is a workhorse as well, playing in 82 games in each of the last two seasons while averaging over 21 minutes last year. Carlson has cracked 30 points in each of his first two full NHL seasons and is expected to further develop. He shouldered the offensive load from the blue line while Mike Green struggled all year and the Caps are hoping for more of the same from their budding American star. Look for goals just shy of 10, assists in the low 20’s, and points in the mid-30s from Carlson this year.
Carlson took our thoughts to heart and made it to the NHL just two years after being drafted. After he helped Team USA defeat Team Canada at the World Juniors, he has become the next best thing to Mike Green in Washington. He is physical and has the partner (Karl Alzner) who can cover for him on the back end when he joins the rush. Carlson inked 37 points in his first year with the Caps and has the potential to put up 60-plus. Consider him as a blue line option on draft day.
Carlson has the size, strength and skating ability, to be a very talented blueliner for years to come in this league. He is very responsible in his own end and plays controlled and smart hockey. Carlson has come into his own and can be a top defensive scorer, already showing flashes last season that he is here for the long haul. He appeared in 22 games (1G,5A,+11) for the Capitals and gained so much trust in the coaching staff and his teammates that he started all seven playoff contests. In those seven contests he posted a goal, three assists, and a plus six rating. That is just invaluable experience going forward. We suggest that he will play a huge role this coming season and can very well become a breakout fantasy producer.
Carlson has the size, strength and skating ability, to be a very talented blueliner. He is very responsible in his own end, who plays controlled and smart. He is great on the penalty kill, and is fast and agile on his skates for a player of his size. Carlson has came into his own as a top defensive scorer showing his ability to be a strong offensive-defenseman. Keep an eye on this kid, as he could make an appearance.
Carlson has the size, strength and skating ability, to be a very talented blueliner. He is very responsible in his own end, who plays controlled and smart. He is great on the penalty kill, and is fast and agile on his skates for a player of his size. Carlson has came into his own as a top defensive scorer showing his ability to be a strong offensive-defenseman. Word is he has given up his commitment to the University of Massachusetts to head north to the OHL and the London Knights. He may not of been as talented as some other defenders in the 2008 draft, but give him 5 or so years and he should be playing in the NHL.