Photo Credit: Instagram via @fotografolawesterberg

Vancouver Canucks announce signing of SHL rookie of the year Linus Karlsson

The Vancouver Canucks announced the signing of one of their top prospects on Thursday morning.

22-year-old winger Linus Karlsson has signed his name on the dotted line and will be on his way over to Vancouver for development camp in July.

Karlsson was ninth in SHL scoring this last season with 26 goals and 20 assists in 52 games with Skellefteå during his rookie SHL season.

“We are excited to officially welcome Linus to Vancouver,” said Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin in a media release from the team. “He is a good goal scorer who plays a solid two-way game, and he is coming off an impressive rookie season in Sweden. We look forward to seeing him develop his game in North America.”

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We’ve seen a big improvement in Karlsson’s game as he showcased that he not only belonged in the SHL last season but thrived in the top Swedish league. Karlsson held a 56.7% Corsi for percentage last season and did a good job extending offensive possessions with his high-level playmaking and volume shooting.

Karlsson was selected to join Sweden at the World Championships in Finland but did not draw into game action at any point in the tournament.

The most exciting part of Karlsson’s game is his shot. He was a vital piece on the power play this past season and should immediately impact the AHL team this fall. There’s an outside shot that he gets into NHL games this season but in a similar way to this past year, he will need to prove that he belongs in a new league with higher competition.

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This is organizational depth being added to the team and gives Abbotsford a chance to show that they can develop prospects into NHL-calibre players. Karlsson is expected to look like one of the best players at the development camp that will take place out at UBC from July 10th-15th.

My personal rankings in April have Karlsson as the Canucks’ sixth-best prospect but if he is able to score goals and contribute at the AHL level, he will quickly rise in that ranking. He has likely moved into the top-five already after a strong finish to his SHL season.

These are the type of prospects you should be excited about in Abbotsford and Karlsson will add a scoring boost to the minor league level with hopes of climbing the ranks and getting a taste of NHL hockey next season.

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