The Anaheim Ducks announced that they have signed top pick Leo Carlsson to an entry-level contract. The deal is for three years with a $950,000 cap hit per year but a $4.2 million AAV due to how the deal is structured.
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) July 12, 2023
Leo Carlsson Signs Entry-Level Contract
After the Chicago Blackhawks unsurprisingly selected Connor Bedard with the first pick of the 2023 NHL Draft, the Ducks chose Leo Carlsson. Even though some suspected this selection, it was a little surprising considering that most considered Adam Fantilli the second-best pick. But this doesn’t mean Carlsson is not a top prospect with a lot of potential.
At 18 years old, the young Swedish centre won the Swedish Junior Hockey Player of the Year with the most points and assists by a junior player in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) this past season. He recorded ten goals and 15 assists in 44 SHL games. His 25 points were fifth highest all-time by a draft-eligible player in the SHL. In addition, he recorded nine points in 13 SHL playoff games.
What this Means
Anaheim clearly saw a lot of value and potential in Leo Carlsson. This contract combined with their draft selection shows the faith they already have in him. This adds another exciting young forward to Anaheims budding core of Jamie Drysdale, Trevor Zegras and Mason McTavish. As LWOH prospect expert Kyle Pereira provided, Carlsson has elite playmaking ability, good skating and strong defensive play. A stylistic comparison to an NHL player has him resembling Nicklas Backstrom. You add a strong playmaker with a 6′ 3″, 194 lb. frame beside an electric skilled player like Zegras and fireworks could fly. The Ducks and Carlsson have a lot to look forward to through this deal and likely beyond.
Main Photo Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports