Born November 27, 1983 (age 28) in Stockholm, Sweden
Goaltender for the Calgary Flames
I received Karlsson’s card today and decided to learn some more about him. Karlsson was never drafted, spending time in the Swedish leagues before being signed by San Jose as a free agent. However, he was returned to Sweden and became the starter for Farjestad BK. Though he had an injury that kept him out of the Elitserien playoffs, he still had the fourth-best save percentage in the league and was tied for second in shutouts. He didn’t see much of a future as a Shark and wondered about going to the KHL, but then the Sharks dealt his rights to Calgary in 2010. The Flames quickly signed him for a year and he became Miikka Kiprusoff’s backup.
Fun fact: when he won his first game, 6-2 over Columbus, he became just the third netminder in Flames history to do so, alongside Tyler Moss and Jim Craig. (Yes, that Jim Craig.) He appeared in 17 games in 2010-11 and re-signed with Calgary for two years. However, he hasn’t had a great time of it this season, struggling to win before suffering an MCL injury in a game against Vancouver. That happened in early December and sidelined him–Kiprusoff was backed up by Leland Irving, who I remember from allowing all nine goals in Boston’s January 9-0 routing of Calgary–until late February. His most recent game was February 21, so at least he appears to be on the mend! He’s said that playing in the NHL is a dream for him, so here’s hoping he gets to keep having that dream.