Anton Karlsson: 2014 NHL Top Prospect

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Anton Karlsson — 

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 in the J20 SuperElit (Swedish Junior League) for Frolunda.

Week 26:  Arizona Hockey Talk’s preliminary evaluations of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft top prospects continue today with our featured prospect Anton Karlsson

Achievements:  

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

2014 Top prospect Anton Karlsson

Offensive Buzzwords

Anton Karlsson has a good skillset that includes better than average skating ability, he is a very good passer with  good on ice vision and also has a good scoring touch.  Karlsson also has a major league wrist shot with a very quick release and very good one-timer.  The best part about this skillset is that it is wrapped up in a power forwards body.  He plays big, he’s a beast on the forecheck, drives hard to the net and has a lot of sandpaper in his game. 

Skating

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.       

Defensive Buzzwords

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.   

Anton Karlsson doesn’t mind mixing it up as seen by his smile on the bench.

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. 

Prospect Analysis 

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 April he could surprise and jump into the “Top 20” conversation. Right now he looks like he will be ranked around 25 – 35 overall.  

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