Born May 31, 1990 (age 21) in Landsbro, Sweden
Defenseman for the Ottawa Senators
One of the teams missing from representation in July’s crop of Men of the Day was the Senators. Let’s fix that, shall we? Karlsson started out playing Swedish hockey in their Elitserien in 2008, scoring the game-winning goal in his first showing with Frolunda HC–a game that clinched their playoff berth. Impressive. That year he also played with Frolunda’s U-20 team and they won the Anton Cup. A season like that will make people take note of you and that is exactly what Central Scouting did, ranking him fourth among Europeans going into the 2008 draft. He was picked 15th overall (after a strategic play from Ottawa and Nashville) by Ottawa that year. The draft, by the way, was held IN Ottawa and his selection was made by Senators captain and fellow Swede Daniel Alfredsson. (Alfredsson also used to play for Frolunda.) He spent 2008-09 playing with Frolunda’s senior-level team before getting called up to Ottawa in 2009 and joining the roster.
However, Karlsson had a little trouble in Ottawa at first, so he went to the Binghamton Senators for a month exactly. Once he returned, he’d stay in the big times for the rest of the season, notching his first NHL goal in a December outing with the Wild. He’s been in some notable tournaments too: he was named best defenseman at the 2008 World U-18s, he was on the silver medal team at the 2009 World Juniors, he was on the bronze medal team at the 2010 Worlds and he participated in the 2011 NHL All-Star game. In the regular season (Ottawa didn’t make the playoffs), he played 75 games, scored 13 goals, had 32 assists and 50 minutes of sin bin time. He’s clearly quite an asset among the Sens’ blueliners.