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HW Staff Mock Draft Pick 19: Brandon Carlo

The 2015 NHL Entry Draft is 15 days away and the Wild are looking to find that next NHL star to raise their franchise to the next level. Hockey Wilderness is counting down the days with a mock draft. We are at pick number 19.

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Detroit Red Wings Prospect Report

The Red Wings have some top tier prospects in the system right now with guys like Teemu Pulkkinen, Dylan Larkin, and Anthony Mantha looking like they could be impact players at the NHL level in years to come.

Where the team's prospect pool may need the most help is on the blue line. The prospect pool doesn't have a knockout future #1 guy and the NHL roster is aging and without an elite top pairing to lean on. Debates about Niklas Kronwall's value are omnipresent, but no matter where you stand it's clear that the franchise could use that Victor Hedman kind of true #1 defenseman.

About Brandon Carlo

So, enter defenseman Brandon Carlo. The 6-foot-5 defender is a defensive defenseman who spent the season with the possession-challenged Tri-City Americans in WHL, as well as playing on the U.S. team at the World Juniors Championship. Carlo is a big, smart player, cited by many scouts as a smooth skater with above average intelligence. He's patient and watches the play develop and makes sure he's in position at all times.

Carlo has a lot of pieces in place, but there's not much of an offensive touch to his game. He finished his 18-year-old season with the American posting just four goals and 21 assists. The season prior he had three goals and 10 assists.

But with Jeff Blashill moving up from the Gran Rapids Griffins to being the bench boss of the Red Wings, there's every reason to expect that the Red Wings system of developing players and practicing patience could be a good combination with Carlo's skillset. A good skate and thinker, he could spend time in juniors and then move up to spend time in the AHL, working on the offensive side of his game with the potential of emerging as a well-rounded defenseman for Detroit. He may not be that #1 guy, but his skillset puts him in a place where he could be a nice building block on the blue line if he doesn't emerge as that kind of guy.

"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. Through maneuvering his way around the ice and making high-percentage, skilled decisions in all three zones, he is able to shut opposition offense 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 offense 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 make the next step. - Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects

How He Would Fit With the Wild

From what I've seen of Carlo, he reminds me a bit of Ryan Suter. Lots of patience, good skater, watches the play develop and doesn't jump up overly often. The Wild have a few good defensive prospects outside the NHL, but it thins out quickly.

They could use Carlo, certainly, but if the Wild moved on a defenseman at this spot, they're deep enough that they may be better served picking a player whose offensive game is already in place and needs work on his defensive game.