Gabriel Carlsson



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1st round (29th overall), 2015


183 lbs.

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2011-12: Gabriel Carlsson played in three games with the Orebro U16 team in Sweden and played for Orebro Lan in the TV-Pucken tournament for high school players. He scored 1 goal and was +2 in U16 league play. Carlsson scored 1 goal with 2 assists and was -4 with 4 penalty minutes in eight games during the TV-Pucken tournament. 

2012-13: Carlsson skated for the Orebro first and second U18 teams and served as a team captain for the club’s U16 squad. In 18 games at the U18 level he scored 3 goals with 5 assists and 4 penalty minutes. Carlsson played in three games for the Sweden U16 team in international competition; finishing with an even plus/minus and no points nor penalty minutes. 

2013-14: Carlsson moved from lower division Orebro to Linkoping — skating for the club’s U18 team — and played for the Sweden U17 team at the 2014 World Hockey Challenge. He scored 4 goals with 15 assists and was +35 with 14 penalty minutes in 40 regular season games. Linkoping reached the U18 playoff finals, winning a silver medal, and Carlsson was +1 with no points and 4 penalty minutes in five playoff games. He had no points with 2 penalty minutes in five games for Sweden at the WHC. 

2014-15: Carlsson appeared in 17 SHL games for Linkoping, including 10 playoff contests, after spending most of the season with the club’s U20 team in the SuperElit league. He played for the Sweden U18 team in the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial and 2015 World Junior Championship tournaments. Carlsson had 2 assists and was +3 with no penalties, averaging 12 minutes of ice time in seven regular season games and had 1 assist with an even plus/minus and 2 penalty minutes, averaging 10 minutes of ice time, in 10 playoff games. In 42 games with the Linkoping U20 team, including three playoff games, he had 9 assists and was +25 with 16 penalty minutes. Carlsson was +5 with 1 assist in five games at the Ivan Hlinka tournament. He had an even plus/minus with no points and 2 penalty minutes in five games at the World Juniors. Sweden finished eighth, falling to Canada, 5-3, in the quarterfinals. Carlsson was ranked second amongst international skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Columbus in the first round (29th overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft. 

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.

Talent Analysis

Carlsson is among the top young defensemen coming out of Sweden but unlike many of those players is more inclined towards the defensive elements of the game. He uses his size, reach, and improving hockey sense to play a very defensive style. He will rarely be seen jumping into the rush, but does make a solid first pass and is able to hold the line and put the puck on net quickly.


Carlsson skated in Sweden in 2015-16, playing in the SHL as an 18-year-old. Yet to sign an entry-level contract with the Blue Jackets, his size, skill set and composure suggest he can be a sound second pairing defender in the NHL one day.

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