John Carlson was picked in the first round (27th overall) by the Washington Capitals in 2008. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/NHLI via Getty Images)
Despite still being a rookie, having played only 22 regular season games last year, Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson is playing like a wily veteran on the blueline in the American capital. The Natick, Mass., native sits fourth in defensive rookie scoring with 22 points in 54 games and has the best plus-minus rating of all Caps rearguards with a plus-15.
The 21-year-old kills penalties, plays the point on the power play and has shown consistency 5-on-5 that eludes most young defensemen. And Carlson’s reliability in all situations has led to him logging the second most ice time on the team.
Carlson has embraced the defense first philosophy that was introduced by the Capitals this season and he and the team are hoping the new focus on defense will help mimic the playoff success Carlson enjoyed with the Hershey Bears of the American League.
THN’s Ryan Dixon takes a closer look at Capitals freshman rearguard, John Carlson.
REPORTER: Ryan Dixon | CAMERA: Mark Gougeon | PRODUCER: Ted Cooper
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