Anaheim Ducks: Who Is William Karlsson?


We may not have known much about him before, but now, after two goals in Buffalo and a game winning shootout goal in Philadelphia, William Karlsson is garnering quite a bit of attention.

Birthplace: Marsta, Sweden

Born: Jan. 8, 1993 (21 years old)

Height: 6’0″

Weight: 185lb

Position: Center

Shoots: Left

Drafted: Anaheim Ducks/2011 NHL Entry Draft/ 2nd Round (53rd Overall)

Karlsson started playing hockey in Sweden.  He played for Arlanda and Vasteras on their U18 teams then moved up to the U20 Super Elit League Vasteras team.  In the 2010-2011 season, Karlsson was the fourth leading scorer in the League with 20 goals and 34 assists for 54 points in 38 games.

In the 2012-2013 season Karlsson moved up to Swedish’s Elitserien playing for HV71.  He was named rookie of the year after getting 4 goals and 24 assists in his first year in the league.

Karlsson played in the World Junior Championships for Sweden winning silver in 2011 and 2013, and winning gold for Sweden in 2012.

Karlsson became eligible to be drafted in 2011.  He was praised for his skating ability and his two-way play style.  One noted weakness was his lack of strength to play on an NHL level.  The Ducks picked him in the second round, 53rd overall.

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After being drafted, Karlsson returned to play in Sweden until the Ducks signed him to a three-year entry-level contract in May of 2013.  He finished the 2013-2014 season in Sweden before coming to the Norfolk Admirals at the tail end of their season.  Karlsson scored 9 points (2-7=9) in nine games for the Admirals.

Karlsson impressed Bruce Boudreau with his play all the way up to and including the preseason.  He impressed Boudreau so much so that, after some key injuries to Ducks forwards, Karlsson has not been sent back down to Norfolk this season.  Now, Karlsson has two goals in three games and one shootout winner for the Ducks.  The next question for William “Wild Bill” Karlsson is if his play early on has earned him a spot on the team ahead of his fellow Swede, Rikard Rakell.