2006-07: Erik Karlsson tallied four goals and 11 points in eight games with Smaland at the TV-Pucken tournament; his squad took third and he racked up the Most Points by Defenseman and Best Plus/Minus (+12) awards at the tourney. He also appeared in 10 games with Sodertalje U20, netting two goals and 10 points through 10 games.
2007-08: Karlsson spent most of the season with Frolunda’s U20 squad (SuperElit), netting 13 goals and 37 points in 38 games. He won several league awards, including Most Points by Defenseman, Most Goals by Defenseman, Most Assists by Defenseman and took the league Championship with Frolunda. He also appeared in seven games with Frolunda’s top squad in the Elitserien league, netting a goal in the process. He competed internationally as well, registering seven assists in six games at the WJC-18 for Team Sweden. He won several awards in the tournament, including the Best Defenseman award, Best Plus/Minus (+8) and Most Points by a Defenseman. He was a member of the winning World Cup (Ivan Hlinka Memorial) Champion Swedish squad.
2008-09: Still within Frolunda’s system, Karlsson played the majority of his hockey with its top squad in the Elitserien league. In 45 games he tallied five goals and as many assists, netting an additional goal and three points in 11 postseason games. He also appeared in seven games with Boras (Allsvenskan) and skated with the Swedish National U20 squad, netting a pair of goals and nine points in six games at the WJC; while Sweden won the Silver Medal, the defenseman was nominated to the All-Star Team and selected as the tournaments best defenseman. Expect to see him make his North American hockey debut, with Ottawa, next season.
Karlsson is a very offensive minded defenseman. He is blessed with excellent hockey sense, confidence and coolness. Everything looks so easy and natural when Karlsson has the puck under control in the offensive zone. He is a true power specialist that usually gets the puck on net and also delivers very good passes. Furthermore, he is mobile and a capable skater with good agility and technical skills.
The knock on Karlsson is his defensive game and size. While he is very cool and confident in the offensive zone, he sometimes chooses difficult solutions in the defensive end. He should play easier and be closer on his opponent. While he Karlsson likely will not be much taller, he should definitely add more strength and muscles. The fact that Karlsson likes to get involved physically and can deliver rather good hits is a big plus. With added strength, his physical play would be much more effective.