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Karlsson enjoys a warm welcome in Ottawa

Swede considers it 'an honour' to be welcomed to team by Alfredsson

Saturday, 21.06.2008 / 9:34 AM / Features
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Karlsson enjoys a warm welcome in Ottawa
Ottawa, host of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, made the packed Scotiabank Place sound like it was hosting a playoff game when it had team captain Daniel Alfredsson announce the team’s first-round pick.
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The Ottawa Senators gave the hometown crowd something to cheer about on Friday night as they made a deal with the Nashville Predators to acquire the 15th overall pick, which they used to select Swedish defenceman Erik Karlsson.
NHL.com talks with Erik Karlsson
OTTAWA – The Senators' hometown fans didn't get a lot to cheer about during the latter stages of the 2007-08 season, but they got some excitement Friday night, midway through the first round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
 
The host Senators made a deal with Nashville, sending their own first-round pick (No. 18) and a third-round pick to the Predators in exchange for the No. 15 selection, which they used to select Swedish defenceman Erik Karlsson from the Frolunda hockey program in Sweden.
 
Making the announcement was another Frolunda alum, Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson.
 
"I said if we pick a Swede, it'll look like I had something to do with it," Alfredsson said with a laugh. "I need another one; I'm by myself."
 
It'll be that way for at least a little while longer, as Karlsson needs to add some bulk to his 5-foot-11, 165-pound frame before he can think about joining the Sens.
 
"I need to work on my strength," he said.
 
Goran Stubb, the NHL director of European scouting, said Karlsson's size hasn’t affected his play to this point.

"Erik is excellent on the power play," said Stubb. "He makes smart passes and has great vision. He plays the game with confidence, has a natural hockey sense and is a consistent offensive threat. He compensates for his lack of strength and size with his mobility, passing and vision and is at his best as an offensive d-man.

"Overall, he needs more weight and strength in order to be more effective in front of his own net."
 
Karlsson had 13 goals and 37 points in 38 games as he led Frolunda's junior team to a league championship this past season.
He also had one goal in seven games in the Swedish Elite League, and had seven assists and a plus-8 rating en route to being named best Defendeman at the Under-18 World Championship for Sweden in April.
 
As happy as he was to be drafted, Karlsson said it meant even more to have Alfredsson make the announcement.
 
"I practiced with him a few times (in the summer)," said Karlsson. "He's the captain of the team, he's Swedish. He's a great player. I was honoured that he called my name."
 
Karlsson also got to hear his first ovation from his new fans. It was a nice moment for the 18-year-old, and he hopes to hear more in the not-too-distant future.
 
"I'll have to go out on the town tonight and see if anybody knows who I am," he said.
 
Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com.

Author: Adam Kimelman | NHL.com Staff Writer

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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
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7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
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STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 82 20 54 -15 74
J. Spezza 75 23 43 -26 66
K. Turris 82 26 32 22 58
C. MacArthur 79 24 31 12 55
B. Ryan 70 23 25 7 48
A. Hemsky 75 13 30 -15 43
M. Michalek 82 17 22 -25 39
M. Zibanejad 69 16 17 -15 33
M. Methot 75 6 17 0 23
P. Wiercioch 53 4 19 -1 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 25 16 8 .911 3.00
R. Lehner 12 15 6 .913 3.06