Erik Karlsson

Erik Karlsson (born 31 May 1990) is a Swedish professional ice hockey defenceman, currently playing for the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was selected 15th overall by the Senators in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He is the 2012 winner of the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s best defenceman.

Playing career

Karlsson made his Elitserien debut for Frölunda HC on 1 March 2008, recording 8:48 of ice time during a sold out home game in Scandinavium, against league leaders HV71. Karlsson scored the game winning goal, assisted by Tomi Kallio and Magnus Kahnberg, with a slapshot off a faceoff, in overtime during a man advantage. The win secured a playoff berth for Frölunda with three games remaining of the regular season.

Karlsson finished the season with Frölunda’s J20 team playing in the J20 SuperElit playoffs, where Frölunda took home the Anton Cup when they won two to one in games against Brynäs IF in the Swedish Junior Ice Hockey Championship final.

Karlsson in November 2011.

Prior to the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Karlsson was ranked fourth among European skaters by the NHL’s Central Scouting Service.[1] He was drafted 15th overall by the Ottawa Senators, in front of their hometown fans atScotiabank Place in OttawaOntario. The selection was made by Ottawa’s captain Daniel Alfredsson, a native ofGothenburg, who played for Frölunda before entering the NHL. Ottawa’s general manager, Bryan Murray, traded Ottawa’s first round pick, 18th overall, and their third round pick in 2009 to the Nashville Predators for the Predators’ first round pick, 15th overall, to ensure that no other team would pick Karlsson before them.

A few weeks before the 2008–09 Elitserien season premiere, Frölunda announced that Karlsson was brought up to the senior team as a regular roster player.[2]

In September 2009, Karlsson attended the Ottawa Senators training camp with a chance at joining the squad even at junior age. On 29 September 2009, the Senators announced that Karlsson had made the team’s roster and would start the 2009–10 season in Ottawa.[3] However, after struggling in nine regular season games with Ottawa, Karlsson was assigned to the Binghamton Senators. On 27 November 2009, exactly a month after being sent down, Karlsson was recalled from Binghamton. He would score his first NHL goal against Minnesota‘s Niklas Bäckström in a 4–1 win for Ottawa on 19 December and remain in the NHL for the remainder of the season and play in all of Ottawa’s playoff games.

Karlsson was selected to participate in the 2011 NHL All-Star Game, set for 30 January at the RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina,[4] having recorded 25 points in 41 games.

The 2011–12 season saw Karlsson continue his development. On 16 December 2011, with his third assist of the night, Karlsson registered his 100th regular season NHL point (in 168 games) in a game against the rival Pittsburgh Penguins.[5] Karlsson was the NHL’s leading vote-getter in All-Star voting,[6] receiving 939,951 fan votes and becoming one of four Senators’ players selected to partake in the 59th National Hockey League All-Star Game. Karlsson finished the season as the leading scorer among NHL defensemen, leading second place Dustin Byfuglien and Brian Campbell by 25 points. Karlsson was being mentioned as a Norris Trophy candidate, if not the favorite for the award[7][8].

On June 19th 2012, Karlsson signed a seven-year contract extension with the Senators worth a reported $45.5 million dollars.[9]

On June 20th 2012, Karlsson was announced as the winner of the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s best defenceman, beating Zdeno Chára of the Boston Bruins and Shea Weber of theNashville Predators.

[edit]International play

Erik Karlsson
Medal record
Competitor for  Sweden
Men’s ice hockey
World Championships
Bronze 2010 Cologne
World Junior Championships
Silver 2009 Ottawa

Karlsson was selected as the tournament’s best defenceman at the 2008 IIHF World U18 Championships.[10] He was the tournament’s plus/minus leader with a plus eight rating,[11] and he led team Sweden in assists, finishing third overall in the tournament, with seven in six games,[12] which also tied him for first place in defencemen scoring.[13] During the 2008 U20 4-Nations tournament which Sweden won, Karlsson scored one goal and one assist which tied him with David RundbladViktor Ekbom, and Tim Erixon as Sweden’s defenceman scoring leader.[14] At the 2009 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships Karlsson was selected to the all-star team,[15] and as the tournament’s best defenceman.[16] With two goals and seven assists in six games he led all Swedish players in points,[17] and was tied for the tournament lead among defencemen.[18]

Karlsson played at the 2010 World Championships and was the highest scoring defenseman for Sweden[19] with one goal and three assists in nine games.

Karlsson tied for 4th in team scoring with Senators teammate Daniel Alfredsson at the 2012 World Championship with 7 points and led all Swedish defensemen in that category.[20] He also finished tied for 5th in points and tied 3rd in goals by defensemen overall in the tournament.[21]

Karlsson played with Frölunda HC in Sweden before joining the Senators.

[edit]Personal life

Karlsson is engaged to his girlfriend, Therese, and their wedding is set for July 6th, 2012, in Sweden.[22]

[edit]Career statistics

[edit]Regular season and playoffs

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2006–07 Södertälje SK J20 10 2 8 10 8
2007–08 Frölunda HC J20 38 13 24 37 68 5 1 0 1 4
2007–08 Frölunda HC SEL 7 1 0 1 0 6 0 0 0 0
2008–09 Frölunda HC J20 1 0 2 2 2
2008–09 Borås HC Allsv 7 0 1 1 14
2008–09 Frölunda HC SEL 45 5 5 10 10 11 1 2 3 24
2009–10 Binghamton Senators AHL 12 0 11 11 22
2009–10 Ottawa Senators NHL 60 5 21 26 24 6 1 5 6 4
2010–11 Ottawa Senators NHL 75 13 32 45 50
2011–12 Ottawa Senators NHL 81 19 59 78 42 7 1 0 1 4
NHL totals 216 37 112 149 116 13 2 5 7 8


Year Team Event GP G A Pts PIM
2008 Sweden Jr. WJC U18 6 0 7 7 4
2009 Sweden Jr. WJC 6 2 7 9 0
2010 Sweden WC 9 1 3 4 2
2012 Sweden WC 8 3 4 7 2
Junior int’l totals 35 6 22 28 4
Senior int’l totals 18 4 7 11 4



Award Year(s) awarded
WJC U18 Best Defenceman 2008[10]
WJC All-Star Team 2009[15]
WJC Best Defenceman 2009[16]


Award Year(s) awarded
NHL All-Star Game 20112012
James Norris Memorial Trophy 2012
NHL First All-Star Team 2012

[edit]Records and Achievements



  • In 2011-12, Karlsson set a new Senators’ franchise record for points in a season by a defenseman (previously held by Norm Maciver) with 78. In the same season he tied Steve Duchesne for theSenators franchise record for most goals in a season by a defenseman with 19.
Posted on: NHL Snipers

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