Canucks: Checking in on forward prospect Linus Karlsson

VANCOUVER, BC - APRIL 18: The Vancouver Canucks take to the ice prior to the start of their NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Rogers Arena on April 17, 2021 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - APRIL 18: The Vancouver Canucks take to the ice prior to the start of their NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Rogers Arena on April 17, 2021 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /
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Based on his statistics and scouting reports, Karlsson would be more than capable of suiting up for the Abbotsford team in the AHL next season. However, according to the Hockey Writers, Karlsson doesn’t appear ready to make that transition to North America just yet. He is reportedly expected to move up to the top-tier Swedish Hockey League for the 2021-22 campaign, unless Benning and co. can strike a deal and convince him otherwise.

Of course, it wouldn’t be all bad if Karlsson decided to further develop his game in Sweden. Pettersson did just that with Växjö Lakers HC during the 2017-18 season, and even went on to win the championship. He was also awarded the Stefan Liv Memorial Trophy as playoff MVP. It does also sound like Karlsson would eventually like to pursue professional hockey in North America, much more than Dahlen currently does.

However, there is still a lot to consider with this situation.

For starters, it would be nice for the Canucks to have something to show for the Burrows’ trade soon, especially given how Dahlen performed in Sweden this past year. It also wouldn’t bode well for the organization if they were to lose another prospect to overseas hockey for the time being, particularly one of Karlsson’s potential.

Plus, it appears that the Canucks should be set up for much more success with their prospects this season compared to previous ones. Most of their highly-projected prospects were able to gain valuable NHL experience this past year, including Kole Lind, Jonah Gadjovich and Will Lockwood, and that experience will hopefully be shared with their teammates, such as Karlsson if he were to come to British Columbia. Not to mention, the players won’t need to hop on a plane to get to Vancouver anymore, which should be a bonus for any aspiring prospect in the organization’s system.

It’ll be tough to predict where Karlsson will end up next season, especially given the ongoing global pandemic, as well as the team’s long offseason to-do list. No matter where he plays, however, many fans will be keeping tabs on Karlsson’s development, hoping that he’ll be a valuable piece for the club in the near future.

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Where would you like to see Karlsson play next year? Let us know in the comments!