In a game that will decide first place in the Northeast Division, Coach Cory wants to have his team firing on all cylinders and obviously feels that Karlsson has more to offer than the much maligned fellow defenseman Brian Lee.
Lee has struggled to find his niche in the NHL thus far in his young NHL career. Is he a puck moving, offensive defenseman? Is he a big, bruising stay at home guy? Is he a power play quarterback? At times, he seems to try to be all three and all three aspects of his game suffer. This has been the story of his career thus far for the former first round draft pick. The kid has the talent and the toolbox, he just needs to put it all together and point it in the right direction.
Karlsson, on the other hand is what he is. A slick skating, offensive defenseman with a great shot from the point on the power play. Although undersized, the young Swede can be a very useful player to his team. Since being sent down to the Sens' AHL affiliate in Binghamton, Karlsson has tallied 11 assists in 12 games while showing a little jam collecting more than his share of penalty minutes at 22 while compliling an even plus/minus rating.
Here's hoping that Erik has adjusted to the North American game as with this call up, he will have 10 games of NHL experience which triggers the first year of his entry level contract.