Anton Karlsson blew everyone out of the water at Arizona Coyotes' development camp this summer. He is a skilled winger who competes against men in the Swedish Hockey League. Being ranked at #10, Karlsson could add speed and skill to the team as early as this season.
#10 - Anton Karlsson - Left Wing/Right Wing - Frölunda HC and Leksands IF - 87th overall pick, 2014 NHL Draft
Highest Rank: 4
Lowest Rank: 17
I personally had Anton Karlsson listed 7th overall in the rankings for this series. Karlsson has a lot of skill, but he is also very sound defensively. He is what would would call the prototypical Dave Tippett forward. He can score goals, but he is responsible in his own end with the puck.
During development camp, he blew a lot of people away with his skill, but there is just one problem. The Coyotes have not signed him to a contract. He is playing in the Frölunda system, and is currently on loan to a lower ranked team IK Oskarshamn. Frölunda is the reigning SHL champions but Karlsson helped Leksands IF move up into the Allsvenskan this season.
While playing with Leksands IF, he scored an amazing goal against Tingsryd AIF to advance to the next round of playoffs. That name may sound familiar as that is where Oliver Ekman-Larsson started playing hockey, and his dad is the GM. Also Kevin Ekman-Larsson plays for TAIF, and that’s for a whole other post.
The upside is that he is skilled enough to be on some of the best teams in the SHL, but it could translate to being just a solid third line wing position. To come to the states, it would have to be a guaranteed NHL contract to make the move. I hope that the Coyotes would try to bring him over, even if for a short AHL run to see if he could play on the smaller ice in the NHL.