COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed defenseman Gabriel Carlsson, the club’s second first round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, to a three-year entry level contract, General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.
Carlsson, 19, was the 29th overall selection in last summer’s NHL Draft held at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. He recorded a goal and eight assists for nine points with two penalty minutes and a +4 plus/minus rating in 45 games with the Swedish Hockey League’s Linköping HC during the 2015-16 regular season. The team’s youngest full-time player, he also appeared in six playoff games. He added 2-6-8 with eight penalty minutes and was +6 in 11 games with Linköping HC J20 of the SuperElit.
“Gabriel played very well against his peers at the 2016 World Junior Championships and made great strides throughout the season in Sweden’s top professional league with Linköping,” said Kekalainen. “We are excited about his future as he is a smart, two-way defenseman who has a chance to be a very good player as he continues to grow and develop.”
The Orebro, Sweden native made his SHL debut with Linköping HC in 2014-15, recording 0-2-2 and a +3 plus/minus rating in seven regular season games and adding 0-1-1 with two penalty minutes in 10 playoff contests. That year, he also recorded 0-7-7, 14 penalty minutes and was +21 in 39 games with Linköping HC J20 of the SuperElit and 2-3-5, 2 penalty minutes and +2 in seven contests with Linköping U18 of the J18 Elit.
The 6-4, 183-pound blueliner has represented Sweden in numerous international competitions, most recently collecting 0-3-3, eight penalty minutes and a +1 plus/minus rating in seven contests at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championships. He also participated in the 2015 IIHF U18 World Junior Championships and Under-18 Five Nations tournament, as well as the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial and World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.