Elias Pettersson’s Swedish rookie goal-scoring record in Sweden no longer stands, and it’s another member of the Vancouver Canucks organization that broke it.
Linus Karlsson, who has been mostly an under-the-radar prospect in the Canucks organization since the team traded for him in 2019, scored his 25th and 26th goals for Skelleftea AIK in the Swedish Hockey League today.
The 6-foot-1, 179-pound forward ripped home a pair of wrist shots to push past Pettersson’s mark of 24 goals in 2017-18.
Unsigned #Canucks prospect Linus Karlsson broke the SHL's rookie goal scoring record with two goals today (25th and 26th of the season). Record was previously held by 18-year-old Elias Pettersson. Vastly different players/ages/situations.
— Daniel Gee (@DanielGScouting) March 22, 2022
Karlsson, it should be pointed out, has the advantage of being an old rookie. The late-bloomer turned 22 in November, making him three years older than Pettersson was as an SHL rookie in 2017-18.
While the rookie goal-scoring record should perhaps be taken with a grain of salt, Karlsson has already posted the 10th-most goals in an SHL season by a player 22 years of age or younger.
With 45 points (26-19-45) in 51 games, Karlsson leads his team in goals and is second in points this season. Karlsson ranks ninth in overall SHL scoring and is tied for second in goals.
The trade for Karlsson, which saw Jonathan Dahlen head to San Jose, wasn’t well liked by prospects experts at the time. Truth be told, Dahlen might still be the better player, given he has 22 points in 52 games as an NHL rookie with the Sharks this season.
But that ship has sailed.
Canucks GM Patrik Allvin previously stated that the team would be active in trying to sign free agents from the NCAA and Europe. Karlsson, who is unsigned but under team control, is a candidate to play in Abbotsford next season.
Daily Hive’s Canucks prospect guru Daniel Gee profiled Karlsson in great detail last December, noting that he had improved his game. While he isn’t a great skater, Gee highlighted Karlsson’s impressive shot, passing ability, and puck-handling ability — projecting him as a potential bottom-six forward at the NHL level.
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