The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed 2015 1st round pick (29th overall) Gabriel Carlsson to a three-year, entry-level contract, the team announced Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“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 General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen in a statement. “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 19-year-old was the Jackets’ second 1st round draft pick in 2015, behind defenseman Zach Werenski, who the team has also put to an ELC. Playing for Linköping HC, Carlsson put up a goal and nine points through 45 games. Carlsson is the third 2015 draft pick the team has signed, following Werenski and 2nd round pick Paul Bittner.
Linköping’s youngest skater also grabbed six postseason games and missed some time playing both for the farm club at for his country at the 2016 World Junior Championship, where he had three assists through seven games.
He’s a big two-way defender, and could be a key piece of Kekalainen rebuilding the Blue Jackets around a young, talent group of defensemen lead by Seth Jones (21), Ryan Murray (22) and David Savard (25).
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.