League: J20 SuperElit Team: Frolunda J20
Position: LW/RW Shoots: Left
DOB: Aug. 3, 1996 Birthplace: Lerum, Sweden
Height: 6’2 Weight: 195
2013-14 Stats: Games: 28 G: 12 A: 10 Pts: 22 PIM: 88 Plus/Minus: +3
Anton Karlsson plays for Frolunda in the J20 SuperElit (Swedish Junior League).
Winnipeg Hockey Talk’s evaluations of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft top prospects continue today with our featured prospect Anton Karlsson
1. Represented Sweden at the World U17 (Gold in 2012-13), World U18.
2. Represented Sweden at the 2013-14 U20 WJC (Silver).
3. Represented Sweden (twice) at the World U18 Ivan Hlinka Tournament.
4. Drafted in the 5th round 164 overall by Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in the 2013 KHL Draft
Note: His older brother Erik Karlsson ( not Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson) was drafted in 2012 by the Carolina Hurricanes.
Anton Karlsson has a good skillset that includes better than average skating ability, he is a very good passer with a good on ice vision and also has a good scoring touch. Karlsson also possesses a major league wrist shot with a very quick release and also has a very good one-timer. The best part about this skillset is that it is wrapped up in a power forwards body. Karlsson plays big, he’s a beast on the forecheck, drives hard to the net and has a lot of sandpaper in his game.
Anton Karlsson is a good skater with better than average speed and he has the ability to make plays and handle the puck while at top speed. His size and speed make him a handful off the rush.
Anton Karlsson competes just as hard in the defensive zone as he does in the offensive zone. He is very aware of his checking assignments and defensive responsibilities.
Intangibles: Anton Karlsson has worn the Captain’s “C” more than once representing Sweden in International play. Having never met Karlsson, this would suggest to me that he has good character and great leadership qualities.
Anton Karlsson already plays a North American style game. He relishes the physical game and now the biggest question is can he transition his junior game to the pro style game? He has all the tools, size, skating, skill and grit. Anton Karlsson’s draft range should be somewhere in the late first round or early second round. I think with a strong U18 in Finland this April he could surprise and jump into the “Top 20″ conversation. Right now I have him ranked around 25 – 40 overall.