METUCHEN, NJ -- While the Las Vegas Golden Knights, an expansion team that became the first in history to reach a major American sport’s championship, have been the Cinderella story of the NHL playoffs, Saint Joseph (Metuchen) alumnus John Carlson has quite an impressive underdog story as well.

NBC Sports profiled the 28-year-old defenseman for the Washington Capitals prior to Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals on Monday evening. Carlson was born in Massachusetts, but grew up in Colonia, which is far from being a hockey hotbed.

Carlson played for Saint Joseph until his family moved to Indiana, where he played for the Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League (USHL), considered the top junior ice hockey league in the U.S. He was the team MVP for the London Knights of the OHL, a Canadian development league, and then played for the Hershey Bears of the AHL before joining the Washington Capitals in 2009.  

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He went on to score the winning goal for the U.S. in the 2010 World Junior Hockey championship game and then played for Team USA at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, where he scored the team’s first goal of the tournament. During the past decade with the Caps, the defenseman has 77 goals and 256 assists in 608 career games.

Carlson has two goals and an assist in the Stanley Cup finals for the Capitals, who can win the franchise’s first ever championship with one more win against Las Vegas.

Watch the NBS Sports profile here.