COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed center William Karlsson to a two-year contract extension through the 2017-18 National Hockey League season, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.
Karlsson, 23, tallied nine goals and 11 assists for 20 points with six penalty minutes in 81 games with the Blue Jackets in his first full NHL season in 2015-16, including 6-8-14 and a +14 plus/minus rating over the final 39 games of the campaign. His 81 games played was tied for second among NHL rookies and he led all club first-year players in goals, assists, points, shots (108) and games played.
“William Karlsson made great strides in his first NHL season and we believe that he is just beginning to come into his own as a player,” said Kekalainen. “He is an important part of our young, core group of players and we are pleased that he will continue to grow, develop and contribute to our team as we move forward.”
Anaheim’s third pick, 53rd overall, in the 2011 NHL Draft, Karlsson was acquired by the Blue Jackets with Rene Bourque and a second round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft from the Ducks in exchange for James Wisniewski and a 2015 third round pick on Mar. 2, 2015. He has collected 12-13-25 and eight penalty minutes in 102 career NHL games with the Blue Jackets and Ducks, including 10-12-22 and six penalty minutes in 84 games with Columbus.
The Marsta, Sweden native registered 19-46-65, 26 penalty minutes and a +17 plus/minus rating in 105 career games with HV 71 in the Swedish Hockey League from 2012-14. In 2012-13, he picked up 4-24-28 and 12 penalty minutes in 50 games to earn SHL Rookie of the Year honors and with VIK Vasteras HK was named Sweden’s top junior player in 2011-12. He also represented Sweden at two IIHF World Junior Championship tournaments, winning a gold medal in 2012 and silver in 2013.