The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed defenseman Gabriel Carlsson to a three year entry level deal. Carlsson was drafted 29th overall by the Jackets in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. This draft selection was the second first round the Jackets had in the draft, moving up in a trade from the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Per Elite Prospects: "Big stay-at-home defenseman with excellent reach and good hockey sense. Carlsson is also quite mobile for his size and has a good first pass. Offensively, he will never put up any big numbers, but has the potential to become a more than capable shut-down-defenseman." (EP 2015)
This analysis shows that the Jackets are bolstering their prospect pool on the defensive end, which has been a weakness on this team that is ongoing. Carlsson is expected to stay in Sweden for another year to continue development.
Per Hockey Future:
2015-16: Carlsson attended prospect camp with the Blue Jackets and Sweden’s U20 evaluation camp in Lake Placid before returning to Sweden for his first SHL season. Skating in 45 of 52 regular season games for third-place Linkopings, he scored 1 goal with 8 assists and was +4 with 2 penalty minutes, averaging 12 minutes of ice time per game. Linkopings was upset by defending champion Vaxjo in the playoff quarterfinals. Carlsson had an even plus/minus with no points nor penalties, averaging 11 minutes of ice time, in six playoff games. Playing for Sweden in the 2016 World Juniors, he had 3 assists and was +1 with 8 penalty minutes in seven games. Sweden finished fourth, falling 8-3 to the USA in the bronze medal game.
The site went on the say he could be a second pairing defenseman in the league one day. The stats show that he is not as offensive as other young rising defensemen in the league, but he could be a very effective guy in other roles on this club.
What are your thoughts on the signing?
More to come…
Sources: eliteprospects.com, hockeyfuture.com