Photo: Greg Fiume/Getty Images
Over the last five seasons, Capitals defenseman John Carlson has evolved into one of the NHL’s best offensive defensemen, finishing in the Top 10 in Norris Trophy voting in two of them (including a career-high fifth-place last season) after. This season, the former first-round pick has continued to produce, and as a result, he has passed longtime Capital Mike Green for fifth on the franchise scoring list for defensemen.
Drafted by the Caps with the 27th pick in the first-round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Carlson was viewed as the next coming of Green, who was one of the key components of the Capitals’ rise to prominence in the Alex Ovechkin era, and who finished his 10-year career in D.C. with 360 points (113 goals, 247 assists) in 575 games played, averaging 0.626 points a game. At the time of his departure in free agency in 2015, Green ranked fifth on the team’s all-time scoring list for blueliners, fourth in goals, and seventh in assists.
Carlson passed Green with an assist on Nicklas Backstrom’s goal in the first period of Capitals’ Sunday matinee game against the Anaheim Ducks. Carlson, who entered the game tied with Green with 360 points (82 goals, 278 assists), now ranks fifth on the team’s scoring list for defensemen. Coming into Sunday’s game, Carlson was on pace for a career-high 17 goals, 75 assists, and 92 points and at the time of writing (9:30 left in the second period), Carlson has added another assist to give him 362 points. Carlson re-signed with the team on an eight-year, $64 million contract this past summer after a career-high 68-point season in 2017-18. The assist on the Backstrom goal:
— Hockey Daily (@HockeyDaily365) December 2, 2018
By Michael Fleetwood