Vancouver Canucks Sign Linus Karlsson

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The Swedish Hockey League’s Rookie of the Year winner Linus Karlsson has reached a deal with the Vancouver Canucks.

Linus Karlsson Makes a Deal

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin is happy to get Karlsson signed, and it sounds like he’ll be crossing the ocean soon.

“We are excited to officially welcome Linus to Vancouver,” said Allvin. “He is a good goal scorer who plays a solid two-way game, and he is coming off an impressive rookie season in Sweden. We look forward to seeing him develop his game in North America.”

The deal is an entry-level one, likely for the maximum cap hit of $925,000 or something close to it. The centre/winger was originally drafted in the third round of 2018 by the San Jose Sharks. He has spent his entire career in Sweden so far, working his way up from the Allsvenskan. Karlsson broke into the SHL this year, and it’s gone very well for him. With 26 goals and 46 points in 52 games, he finished ninth in overall league scoring. At 22 years old, he’s more than ready to try professional hockey in Canada.

What This Means for Vancouver

Karlsson is part of the complicated legacy left behind by previous general manager Jim Benning. Getting Karlsson’s rights cost the team Jonathan DahlĂ©n, who was brought in late in the 2017-18 season. That deal happened when Vancouver parted ways with long-time fan favourite Alexandre Burrows to the Ottawa Senators. At the time, there was some optimism that when Burrows and Jannik Hansen were traded it was signs of the team taking a rebuild seriously. Then came an offseason of strange free agent signings and they were off again.

This upcoming offseason brings a lot of questions for the Canucks, especially among the forward corps. With the team’s pursuit of Andrei Kuzmenko and their oft-spoken desire to gain cap space, change is in the air. Kuzmenko is clearly playing in the NHL this season, and if the Canucks think Karlsson can do likewise they’ll need to make some room.

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