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BAKER'S TOP 30: #27 GABRIEL CARLSSON

by Kris Baker / Buffalo Sabres

Kris Baker of SabresProspects.com has submitted his annual rankings of the top 30 draft-eligible prospects. Check back each day as we prepare for the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida on June 26-27.

(Photo Credit: Linkoping HC)

#27 – GABRIEL CARLSSON
Defenseman, Linkoping Jr. (Sweden)
6’4”, 183 lbs.

A mobile stay-at-home defender with excellent size and reach, Carlsson effectively stifles the attack with a safe, simple brand of defensive hockey. He’s poised and mature, relying on his size and angles to execute as one of the more efficient rearguards in the 2015 fleet.

Carlsson’s game is marked by diligent footwork and defensive zone smarts. He’s rarely out of position and he does a good job using his lanky frame to his advantage when he drops down to one knee to close off passing and shooting lanes.

On top of it all, Carlsson owns his space with a commanding physical style. He’s good at tracking his targets when laying the body and consistently uses his quick feet and strength to win 50/50 battles on his half of the ice.

Employing a conservative style when he gets the puck, Carlsson has the makings of a sturdy top-four anchor that can safely be paired with a more run-and-gun partner.

He’s hardly an end-to-end skater, and while he does a good job punching shots through from the point, Carlsson rarely goes out of his way to unload the big shot. He’s happy making the short pass out of the zone and offering basic up-ice support while maintaining his focus on patrolling the back end.

Carlsson, who logged 10 shots on goal and an even rating for Sweden at April’s IIHF Under-18 World Championship, will advance up a level to the SHL next season with Linkoping HC.


For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline, check out Kris Baker’s website, SabresProspects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@SabresProspects) for in-game updates throughout the week on any Buffalo prospects that are in action.

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