Carlson


The United States has made major inroads into hockey since the 1980 gold medal win at Lake Placid. Despite producing some talented players, they haven't produced at a level high enough to warrant much individual NHL hardware in most areas. Brett Hull won the Hart in 1991, Tom Barrasso won the Vezina in 1984 and John Vanbiesbrouck won the Vezina in 1986.

This lack of hardware doesn't apply to the Norris Trophy. Since Rod Langway won back-to-back Norris Trophies in 1983 and 1984, Americans have won the Norris seven times in 24 seasons. Led by Chris Chelios and Brian Leetch, the US has consistently produced elite level defensemen and has consistently captured the hardware to prove it.

Norris trophies aside, Americans have produced defensemen of quality since the early 80's. Another American, Mark Howe, was Norris runner-up three times. Both Gary Suter and Bryan Berard won Calder trophies.

 

Other great American blue liners include Phil Housley, Derian Hatcher, Kevin Hatcher, Al Iafrate, Brian Rafalski and Mathieu Schneider. Other than Rafalski, Ryan Whitney and Mike Komisarek, Americans have been quiet recently. That's about to change.

Keith Yandle and Alex Goligoski both show lots of promise. Both could easily notch 40 points next season on their way to high scoring careers. Matt Niskanen broke through last year with 35 points while Tom Gilbert and Ryan Suter both scored 45 points.

Considering the pedigree of Jack Johnson, 22, and Erik Johnson, 21, it won't be long before an American sees his name etched on the Norris.

It may come as a surprise to many that I haven't mentioned the most likely Yankee defender to rival Chelios, Leetch and Langway. His name is John Carlson and 22 teams passed on him in the 2008 NHL draft.

Carlson had 43 points in 59 USHL games heading into the draft, but he was 6'3 and 210 pounds and can really move. For whatever reason, he fell between the cracks and Washington stole him 27th overall. Carlson then proceeded to tear apart the OHL in his rookie season, notching 76 points for London and finished tied for 17th in scoring as an 18 year old. Sure, Ryan Ellis scored 89 points, but Ellis is five inches shorter and 35 pounds lighter than Carlson. It was also Ellis' second OHL season. Carlson’s size makes him a better pro prospect.

Carlson can play defense as well. He was second on the Knights in plus/minus (33rd in the OHL) and finished behind only Cody Hodgson and John Tavares as the OHL's "Total Package" player in Hockey Prospects Magazine Spring 2009 edition. I think "Total Package" is a good description for Carlson who has a bit of a mean streak to go with his huge frame. He lacks nothing.

Some call him the next Mike Green; others compare him to Erik Johnson. I say everyone already knows who Mike Green is, everyone already knows who Erik Johnson is and everyone already knows who Jack Johnson is. But does everyone in your pool know who John Carlson is? Probably not.

 


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Stuart McDonald said:

Slantman
... "Corey Perry is a guy who has turned out for the Knights-and his numbers dwarfed what Getzlaf did in the WHL so, of course, for years he was considered by many to have higher offensive upside (try finding those people now)."

You also said the above in your reply. Perry's having a bad year but I think his MVP, Richard Trophy has proven his worth. What's interesting is that you criticise me for my own hyperbole and yet engage in your own. You (and many others) need to calm down when replying to articles, otherwise you'll lose all credibility. You have a long way to go for me to take you seriously again and if I see your handle again, I'll re-direct you back to this response.
December 08, 2011
Votes: +0

Stuart McDonald said:

Slantman
... @colt46.orr - It's Jan 2011. Carlson has 18 points, Bogosian 10. Carlson is plus 8, Bogosian plus 1. It takes time to appreciate foresight, experience, extensive research and the conclusions that come from that research. I realize that both players are 21 and there is a long way to go before ultimate conclusions can be made, but your childish rant is looking more and more petulant and misinformed. I just hope you'll calm down when articles like this come out think before you speak.
December 08, 2011
Votes: +0

lanky522 said:

lanky522
... Colt.45Orr
You keep bringing up Kadri, but what about Varone (19pts to Kadri's 21) shouldn't he --by your logic-- have been picked right after Kadri?


i brought up kadri (and tavares) because carlson's a defender that outscored both of them, and they were both top 10 picks this year. Any time a defender leads his team in scoring (and his team consists of top 10 drafted forwards), that's pretty darn impressive... at any level of the game. That was my point.

I really don't understand the parallel you're trying to make with varone, as he's a forward... who was worse than kardi... your tangent is lost on me.

...and as far as your argument that a player who relies on his size won't translate well to the nhl... um what? he's still a kid, and will only get bigger and stronger in the next couple of years. if he was proportionally larger/stronger than his peers in junior, then it follows that he'll likely be proportionally larger/stronger than his peers in the NHL once he's full grown in a couple more years...

you're actually saying that it's a detriment to his transition to the pros that he's already got an NHL ready frame?

-------

I don't know... i think i understand where you're coming from... you just don't want anyone to overestimate players... but here's the thing: with prospects, sometimes you have to take a shot, nail your balls to the wall, and overestimate a bit.

As a reader of this site, which would you prefer more... taking a shot on carlson and have him end up being a 40 point guy (instead of a 60-70 point guy as some are predicting), or not take a shot on carlson (because all the experts were conservative in their predictions) and end up missing out on the next "untouchable" defender?

Having experienced both scenarios before (as most fantasy managers have), i can tell you that the second scenario leaves a much longer sting for me.
August 16, 2009
Votes: +0

kevinsane said:

kevinsane
Nice point of view! I think the author is right in that Carlson will pan out, but the comments about how he'll be used are probably accurate as well. He could turn out to be the Jordan Staal of D-men, in that on any other team his role would be vastly more significant.
August 16, 2009
Votes: +0

Colt.45Orr said:

Colt.45Orr
... Lanky,

Again, OHL stats (especially in the playoffs) seem pretty inflated to me (the strong beating up on the weak). It isn't out of the ordinary to see a team get lit up for 8 goals! Playoff hockey in the OHL doesn't seem to get tighter (as it does in most leagues) it seems to actually loosen up --on the scoreboard anyway . You keep bringing up Kadri, but what about Varone (19pts to Kadri's 21) shouldn't he --by your logic-- have been picked right after Kadri?

I'm over the Bogosian oversight... everyone has a reason for liking or not liking a player. I really could care less who likes Bogosian and who doesn't --I just think that Carlson has a long way to go before deserving such a title and it is unfair to saddle him with such expectations.

At the end of the day, you can do back-flips that he has beat up on a bunch of kids in junior while playing on a stacked team but the fact remains that he has yet to prove that he can put up points at a professional level (read Johnson, Jack).

I (still) really like Jack Johnson, but he was another guy who was a full grown man amongst boys and was a punishing, dominant 2-way Dman. He got the "next-great-American-D-man" hype too. They remind me of each other in the way they rush the puck, they get the train going and guys can't it get off the track. I remember Johnson's first NHL game (and he tried rushing like he always did in college) and he got rocked.

Carlson's offensive game didn't translate right away to the AHL not because of lack of playing time or opportunities (obviously he did not have the same role as in London) because he couldn't just overpower guys and use his strength and reach to go around them. He doesn't have elite hockey sense.

Look at Thomas Hickey --played on a crap hockey team in Seattle, his stats were nowhere near as good as Carlson's yet when he went pro he went PPG. Why? Because he doesn't rely on his size to dominate, but rather he relies on his smarts and skating ability. A brain-Vs-Braun type thing. But hey -what do I know, I've been saying for years that he will make a better pro than jr.

For the last time, I really like Carlson, but it is realistic to think that he will follow a Jack Johnson type development. Johnson is a heck of a defender and will develop nicely over the years, but gets labelled a bust by some because he is not living up to the insane hype machine that was put before him. I don't want to see the same thing happen with Carlson.

Stuey --sorry if I can across as harsh. I do like you work, and look forward to reading it.


August 16, 2009
Votes: +0

lanky522 said:

lanky522
... And furthermore, at the end of the day... even if everything (talentwise) was even... who's going to have the better career, and the better shot at winning some hardware? Bogosian playing in atlanta with todd white, little, (possibly) kovalchuk, and hainsey? Or carlson playing in washington with ovechkin, backstrom, semin, and green?

Fantasy hockey (and NHL individual awards trophies) is as much about situation as it is about actual skill. Few defensive prospects in the game have an A+ situation and A level skill to match it. Carlson and a select few others fit that mold right now... Bogosian (as great as he may be in the future) will not win any awards if he stays on the same quality of team that he's on right now.
August 15, 2009
Votes: +0

lanky522 said:

lanky522
... Colt.45Orr
Bogosian's PPG pace last year was way more impressive because (1) he was a year younger and (2) HE LED HIS TEAM IN SCORING!!


... um... carlson led his team in scoring during the playoffs last year... ie, when big players need to play big. He outscored first overall draft pick john tavares and regular season team point leader Kadri. During Bogosian's year where he "LED HIS TEAM IN SCORING," he had 3 points in 5 playoff games.

now i may be silly, but i tend to look more at the high pressure scenarios of youth competition when determining how well a player will acclimate to the pro game. I don't know anything outside of the WJC that is more pressure packed than a playoff run.

You claim that the above article was written by a fanboy, but your post comes off as nothing but the same... just for a different player. Regardless, Stu makes some really good points in the article that shouldn't be overlooked just because of a bias that he might have.
August 15, 2009
Votes: +0

Slantman said:

Slantman
Bogosian vs. Carlson Colt.45Orr - I don't think I've ever been nailed more for an article and had less acrimony towards the critic. I totally hear what you're saying although the major difference (which I probably didn't stress enough) is that Carlson is less well-known than Bogosian. Because he was picked so high, Bogosian has already been drafted in my keeper league, has his own nickname (BOGO) and is currently untouchable. I'm not sure if anyone in my league even has Carlson on their radar. As for his mediocre showing in the AHL - just look at Mike Green as a comparison. Given their offensive backgrounds, I checked how many years it took Green to put up big numbers and it took him three years after his draft year. As for Carlson's big numbers in London, I don't care what kind of offense they run. He finished two points behind Kadri who was a Top-10 draft pick as a forward. You also have to remember than Hershey won the Calder Cup last season and had enough depth to use Carlson sparingly so his numbers only reflect his ice-time.
For some reason and it's my own bias, but I'm not a fan of Bogosian. I suspect had I mentioned him (and I should have) you would have been a lot less vociferous in your criticism. Major injuries really bug me and can put me off players for years. I'm a poolie and that's how I roll. I think that happened with Bogosian here and it was a mistake. But you definitely saw through me on the Carlson thing. I do love the kid and I do think he will be the next one but only time will tell.
August 15, 2009
Votes: +0

Colt.45Orr said:

Colt.45Orr
... For the record, I realize that more than Perry have turned out from London, but for every Corey Perry there is an Adam Perry, for every Pat Kane there is a Dylan Hunter, etc.

I'm not saying that good/great players can't come through London, I am just saying that their powerhouse system of play tends to inflate stats.
August 15, 2009
Votes: +0

Colt.45Orr said:

Colt.45Orr
Wow... brutally bad article... I'm sorry, I usually like this writer, but this article is brutal... especially by his standards. Honestly, it just comes across as fan-boy hype. The Title needs to be changed ASAP. to something more conservative.

1) This article looses all credibility with me by not even mentioning the American Dman with the biggest upside in Zach Bogosian. He was on pace for something like 16 goals last year as an 18 year old in the NHL!
The lack of his name here just shows how poorly researched this article is, or how bad Stuey's tunnel vision got.

When he wrote, "It may come as a surprise to many that I haven't mentioned the most likely Yankee defender to rival Chelios, Leetch and Langway. His name is..." I was 100% sure he would mention Bogosian.

Nope.

2) Lets be realistic here --we are talking about a guy who played the PP on the London Knights. That team plays such a wide-open style under the Hunters that it isn't even realistic for pro hockey. Look at all the HUGE numbers that have come out of that team in the past 5 years, and then tell me how they have turned out as pros. Bogosian's PPG pace last year was way more impressive because (1) he was a year younger and (2) HE LED HIS TEAM IN SCORING!!


Corey Perry is a guy who has turned out for the Knights-and his numbers dwarfed what Getzlaf did in the WHL so, of course, for years he was considered by many to have higher offensive upside (try finding those people now).

I get that Carlson is the complete package, but he was also a 6'4 215pd guy playing against kids. He looked OK when called up for the Hershey but he couldn't impose his will on the pro's who were much bigger stronger.

3pts in 16 games in the AHL and we are supposed to be doing back-flips over this guy and proclaiming him the "Next Great American".


Before all the fan-boys jump to his defense and skewer me, please realize that I really, really like Carlson. Which is why I am defending him from all this undue hype and expectations. He reminds me a lot of a (more physical, defensively better) Ryan Whitney (another once overly-hyped American Dman).

Again, I like Carlson, but this title needs to be changed ASAP. I'm so tired of over-the-top proclamations in the fantasy world that border on hyperbole.

August 15, 2009
Votes: +0

DuklaNation said:

DuklaNation
... The above comments that he wont play this season or next season is WAY too conservative. At worst, he'll play 1 AHL season. At best, he'll play >40 games THIS season. His Jr career is all but over. Carlson is a stud and should be drafted high.
August 15, 2009
Votes: +0

bluejays said:

bluejays
... Thanks lanky. I watch a lot of Caps games as well - Centre Ice. The points you make are solid.
August 15, 2009
Votes: +0

lanky522 said:

lanky522
Re: Bluejays comment As someone who watches a lot of caps hockey, i'm not really sure that you need to be concerned about green's contract or powerplay time when deciding carlson's fantasy potential over the next few seasons.

1) Ovechkin and green pretty much double shift both the first and second powerplay units. I've seen many 2 minute powerplays where ovechkin and green don't even come off of the ice... and while ovechkin can play the opposite point from green (with knuble in front of the net, and semin and backstrom as the other two forwards), he's a superstar... and more than capable at other positions on the pp as well.

What this tells me is that carlson will likely see 2nd powerplay unit time (as outside of green, the offensive capability of washington's defenders is pretty minimal) fairly early in his career. If my assumptions are correct, the second powerplay will likely consist of something like:

Ovechkin-Morrison/Fleishmann-Laich
Carlson-Green

... by the end of this season, or early next season. If you ask me... that's really not freaking bad. Even if you're only getting 2 minutes of pp time a game, when you've got green and ovie to pass to, and laich making a mess in front of the net, you're gonna do alright...

Then after Carlson gets some experience, he'll likely be bumped up to the top unit (bumping a semin or knuble type down to the second unit allowing the caps more depth on their powerplays as a whole).

2) As far as making the team and/or fitting into a spot, he's an odds on favorite to make the team in some capacity this year (likely limited minutes, scratches, or minor league callup), but as soon as next year... i he'll be full time imo. The caps are high on him (with good reason), and he was one of the (or depending on who you ask, the single) best player at the caps prospect camp a month or so ago.

I think your assumptions that carlson is "a guy who won't play this year and next year (if he make's it)" are very wrong as this kid has an NHL frame and NHL skill right now.

3) as far as blum and/or mcbain... blum is BURRIED on a team with nothing but defensive prospects. Sure he's great, but is he really going to move past weber or suter at ANY point in the next few years? doubtful... so he'll see 2nd powerplay unit time AT BEST... with who? Nashville's 2nd unit is terrible in comparison to the 2nd unit washington can ice.

As far as mcbain, i like him, and i think he's a better solution in the longer term than pitkanen's fickle ass... but even so... i think mcbain's upside is capped as a 45-50 point guy... and he's farther away than carlson imo. Carlson playing on any washington powerplay has an upside in the 60s... within 3 years if you ask me.

-----

it's hard to say where you should draft him without knowing what your rules, format, or draft setup looks like... but if youre in a keeper league of any kind with defenders and prospects, the kid should be owned before the start of this season.
August 15, 2009
Votes: +2

bluejays said:

bluejays
... Great article! But, do I waste a top pick in our keeper draft for a guy who won't play this year and next year (if he make's it) will not play on that top PP1 unit that logs 80% of the PP? Ovechkin play the point with Green. Assume Knuble is in front and you have Backstrom and Semin. Where will Carlson fit in the next 3 years? How much better is his value than Blum or McBain?
Green still has 3 yrs left on his contract.
August 15, 2009
Votes: +0
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