LIGHTNING RE-SIGN CENTER ANDREAS KARLSSON
Karlsson, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound native of Ludvika, Sweden, played in 53 games with the Lightning in 2006-07, recording three goals, nine points and 12 penalty minutes while averaging 8:25 in ice time. He also appeared in six Stanley Cup Playoff games, averaging 7:07 of ice time.
“Andreas Karlsson is a very versatile hockey player who spent the past year learning our system and coming to understand what John Tortorella demands of his players,” Feaster said. “Karlsson is a very good skater who can play center and is an effective face-off man and a good penalty killer. He demonstrated in the post-season that he can also play left wing, and can do so as part of a top-two line scenario when needed.
“In short, you can play him anywhere from your second through fourth lines as he is responsible defensively as well. He is also a very good teammate and is well-liked in the room. Having spent a full season learning the 'Tampa Bay way' he is now an even more valuable asset to our team.”
Karlsson had a dominant offensive season for HV 71 of the Swedish Elite League in 2005-06. In 50 games, Karlsson, 31, led the league in points (55) and short-handed goals (6), was tied for the lead in goals (26), was second in game-winning goals (9), tied for second in plus/minus (+18), was fourth in assists (29) and was 16th in face-off percentage (53.56). He also helped Sweden capture the Gold Medal at the 2006 World Championships with five goals and nine points in nine games to tie for fifth in tournament scoring.
Originally drafted 148th overall by Calgary at the 1993 NHL Entry Draft, Karlsson was traded to Atlanta in 1999 and appeared in 153 games with the Thrashers from 1999-2002, recording 11 goals, 38 points and 50 penalty minutes. He also skated for the 2001-02 Chicago Wolves, recording seven goals and 21 points in 23 playoff games as the Wolves captured the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup. After a second season in Chicago in 2002-03, Karlsson returned to Europe where he played for Basel of the Swiss League (2003-04) before joining HV 71 for two seasons.
Before coming to North America, Karlsson played seven seasons with Leksands of the Swedish Elite League, recording 57 goals, 118 points and 89 penalty minutes in 227 games from 1992-93. He also played in 25 games for Leksands of the Swedish Junior League, tallying 15 goals and 30 points. Karlsson skated for Sweden at the 1995 World Junior Championships in Alberta, helping his team to the Bronze Medal with two goals and four points in seven games.