In a year where Linus Karlsson has put himself on the map as a legitimate NHL prospect, the Canucks are expecting to sign the 22-year-old prospect when his SHL season ends as per Rick Dhaliwal of Donnie and Dhali – The Team.
When his season is over in a few weeks, the expectation is he will sign.
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) February 25, 2022
Karlsson was acquired in exchange for Jonathan Dahlen in February of 2019. Dahlen has shown a smooth transition to the NHL this season and found success with the San Jose Sharks.
Though Karlsson just signed a two-year extension with his SHL club back in May, the SHL provides out-clauses for NHL contracts in a much easier way than the KHL. Through 41 games, Karlsson has 19 goals and 15 assists and is 16th in league scoring while being the youngest player in the league’s top 30 scorers.
The biggest strength in Karlsson’s game is his quick release that has NHL quality power behind it. The question will be if the better goaltending and more physical play in North America will be a fit for the type of game that the Swedish scorer plays. Karlsson will have to prove himself in North America as he did as a scorer in the SHL this season.
It’s been a couple of years where the task of proving himself has been smashed. He did it last year during a strong Allsvenskan season where he had 51 points in 52 games. Now, he is on a tear with 19 goals in 41 games while playing in Sweden’s top league.
To get a feel for the type of scorer that he is, here are 17 of his 19 SHL goals.
We will have an in-depth dive into Karlsson’s season coming on Monday morning. For now, get excited as it sounds like Karlsson will be able to jump into the NHL or AHL if his playoffs end early.
The not-so-great news for an early arrival is that Karlsson’s SHL team is poised for a long playoff run. Skellefteå is currently first in the SHL standings and the SHL season doesn’t conclude until the end of March.
We may have to wait for next season to see Karlsson in North America but a strong showing at training camp may be enough to have him skip the AHL entirely. That’s a long shot but it is possible with how quickly Karlsson has shown improvements over the past two seasons.
Deep dive on his playstyle coming on Monday!