Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
What to expect from Linus Karlsson in his potential NHL debut in Calgary
By Dave Hall3 months ago
The Vancouver Canucks have recalled versatile forward Linus Karlsson from the American Hockey League’s Abbotsford Canucks. Karlsson is expected to make his NHL debut tonight against the Calgary Flames.
Celebrating his 24th birthday, Karlsson is likely to be stepping into the lineup in place of Andrei Kuzmenko, who left Wednesday night’s match after taking a J.T Miller shot up high.
Originally drafted 87th overall (third round) by the San Jose Sharks in 2018, the Swede was part of a one-for-one trade that sent Jonathan Dahlén to the Sharks in 2019.
Since joining the Canucks’ organization, Karlsson has consistently contributed across various levels in the Swedish hockey circuit. This includes an impressive SHL rookie season, where he currently holds the 16th all-time spot among U23 skaters with 46 points.
Notably, Karlsson surpassed Vancouver superstar Elias Pettersson’s rookie goal total, netting 26 goals in comparison to Pettersson’s 24.
Since crossing the pond, he has appeared in 85 games at the American League level, contributing 26 goals and 60 points, finishing second in Abbotsford scoring last season. This year, across 13 games, he’s notched two goals and 11 points.
His game has come a long way in just one season.
In addition to his soft hands and ability to create scoring opportunities, he has blossomed into a multi-use forward and is not afraid to go to the tough areas and take abuse as a net-front presence. His skating ability has been criticized in the past as the major area separating him from the highest level, so we will finally get to see how it holds up among NHL-caliber competition.
At this time, it is unclear where he will slot into the lineup. Pius Suter is day-to-day, but if both Suter and Kuzmenko are out of the lineup, expect to see Karlsson in tonight.
In other roster news, Akito Hirose, who was recalled on Tuesday morning, has been reassigned to Abbotsford to make room on the 23-man roster.
With a 12-3-1 record, the Canucks officially claimed the top spot in the Western Conference, following a 4-3 overtime win on Wednesday night over the New York Islanders.
They will take on the struggling 5-8-2 Flames for their first matchup of the season.
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