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More about Erik Karlsson
When the Ottawa Senators selected Erik Karlsson with their first pick (15th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft it was clear they believed he had the ability to make an impact in the NHL. But no matter how optimistic they were at the time there is no way they predicted just how good this young Swedish blueliner would become in such a short amount of time.
Karlsson made his debut for the Senators in the 2009-10 season, and immediately made an offensive impact, registering 26 points in 60 games played, to go along with 11 points in 12 games he notched while playing for the Senators AHL affiliate in Binghamton.
The following season he would continue to show his offensive prowess, ramping up his numbers, scoring 13 goals and 45 points in 75 contests. However, his -30 rating that season exposed some deficiencies in his defensive game that he would shore up before entering the 2011-12 season.
Though his career was definitely on the upswing going into that year, no one expected him to take his game to the level that he did. Right off the hop he was not only one of the best defensemen in the league, he was one of the best players period. His smooth skating, slick passing, deft stickhandling, and his deceptive shot helped make him the complete offensive package from the back end. He went on to enjoy a marvelous year, registering 19 goals, 78 points, and turning his awful -30 rating from the previous season into a far more respectable +16. His efforts earned him not only an All Star Game selection, but Karlsson also wowed enough to beat out established blueliners like Shea Weber and Zdeno Chara to earn the coveted Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman.
After starring for Jokerit Helsinki over in Europe during the NHL lockout, Karlsson returned to the Senators in early 2013 and picked up right where he left off the previous season, registering 10 points in the first 14 games, and generating early buzz as the favorite to win a second straight Norris Trophy. Unfortunately his season came to an abrupt end when he got tangled up with Matt Cooke of the Pittsburgh Penguins in a seemingly innocuous play that left him with a lacerated Achilles tendon.
Providing his recovery from surgery goes well fans can expect Karlsson to return to form in the 2013-14 season. Look for him to be a superstar in this league for many years to come.