Only nine months after the Swedish Erik Karlsson was traded into the San Jose Sharks, Doug Wilson got what he wanted, and an eight-year contract was signed to keep Karlsson in the Sharks camp. A deal valued at $11.5 million per year putting this defenseman now in the ranks of highest-paid NHL players. Just a small shortfall behind Connor McDavid at $12.5 million per year, who is currently the number one in paying terms. Wilson is convinced that he had to have Karlsson signed to his team since he is twice the winner of the Norris Trophy and six-time All-Star. This kind of player is not easy to find.
Debuting in March 2008 for Frölunda HC in Scandinavium against HV71, scoring not only the winning goal but also recording a time of 8:48 on the ice. That season Frölunda took the Anton Cup home. Always moving up in his game, Karlsson made the regular roster with Frölunda. In December of 2009, he scored his first NHL goal for the Ottawa Binghamton Senators and remained in NHL for the rest of the season. The 2011-2012 season brought him his 100th regular-season NHL point, and he became one of the four Senators players to be in the 2012 NHL All-Star Game. He signed a seven-year contract with the Senators in 2012 and won the James Norris Trophy for being the best defenseman in NHL. He remained with the Senators until being traded in 2018 to the San Jose Sharks and scored his first goal for the Sharks in November. Now he is here to stay, and it is a part of the journey which he looks forward to. Karlsson expressed his excitement about the bay area, the people, the fans and the organization.
The Impact on the Sharks
During last season Karlsson suffered from a groin injury which kept him out of several games, and he only played 53 which brought him 45 points from 42 assists and three goals. With his seven-year contract with the Ottawa Senators coming to an end, he could have moved into the position of the league’s marquee free agent but preferred to sign with the Sharks instead. He is adamant that he wants to be part of the future success of the team and winning the Stanley Cup. In May he had to undergo surgery for his groin injury but is expected to make a full recovery before the start of the season and to be ready to be able to deliver a long and successful career at the Sharks.
Playing At a Different Level
Apart from his exceptional level of play, which made him such a wanted player for the Sharks, Karlsson is also known as the kind of player who influences everybody around him and making his fellow teammates better in their own game. It seems that the San Jose Sharks can be pleased with the decision and that fans have much to expect to see from Karlsson.