2010-11: Markus Karlstrom skated in three games for SDE HF’s U18 team in Sweden and skated for the club’s U16 teams. He played for Stockholm 2 in the TV-Pucken tournament for high school age players. In three U18 games he had 1 assist and 2 penalty minutes. He played eight games for SDE HF’s gold medal-winning U16 team and had 1 goal with 2 assists and 4 penalty minutes. In eight games during the TV-Pucken tournament he scored 1 goal with 2 assists and 2 penalty minutes.
2011-12: Karlstrom skated for AIK Stockholm as a 16-year-old in his first full season in Sweden’s U18 league. He scored 1 goal with 7 assists in 38 games and was +18 with 20 penalty minutes. AIK missed the U18 Allsvenskan playoffs after finishing eighth in the South Division.
2012-13: Karlstrom appeared in five games for AIK Stockholm’s U20 team and displayed an offensive touch in his second season with the club’s U18 team. He scored 1 goal and was +4 in his brief time with the AIK U20 team. Karlstrom scored 14 goals with 30 assists in 40 games for AIK’s U18 team and was +37 with 38 penalty minutes. AIK finished fourth in the South Division and reached the playoff quarterfinals. Karlstrom had 1 assist and was -1 with 2 penalty minutes in five playoff games. Ranked 76th amongst European skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings, he was selected by Winnipeg in the seventh round (194th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft.
2013-14: Karlstrom made his first pro appearance in the SHL — seeing 4:34 minutes of ice time with no points nor penalties in a February 27th game for last-place AIK Stockholm against first-place Skelleftea — and skated for the AIK U20 team in the SuperElit league. In 44 SuperElit games he scored 10 goals with 17 assists and was plus-5 with 38 penalty minutes. AIK finished sixth in the North Division and was swept by Farjestads in a best-of-three preliminary series. Karlstrom was minus-3 with no points and 2 penalty minutes in two playoff games.
Karlstrom was a projection pick when the Jets selected him in the seventh round of the 2013 NHL Draft. A skating defenseman with the ideal height and frame that suggests he can add mass and become an effective defender one day, he put up points consistently at the junior level. While he has never been a part of Sweden's national junior team the Winnipeg scouts saw something in him to suggest that he was just starting to scratch his potential.
Karlstrom signed a contract with Mora in the Sweden second division, AllSvenskan for the 2014-15 season. While he is not skating in Sweden's SHL, his progress playing against men with Mora should give a clearer picture of Karlstrom's long-term potential. He is not yet signed to an entry-level contract by the Jets and as with any seventh round pick that is by no means a certainty of happening.