After Lucas Carlsson’s play took another leap forward, he continued to show progress toward joining the Chicago Blackhawks’ roster pool for the 2018-2019 season with another strong performance in Sweden. Despite producing the seventh most goals among defensemen in the Swedish Hockey League last season, he has fallen five spots in our Top 25 Under 25 series.
Birth date: July 5, 1997 (age 21)
Acquired via: 2016 NHL draft — 4th Round (110th)
Most recent stop: Brynäs IF — Swedish Hockey League
Size: 6-feet, 195 pounds
Contract: 3 years with $792.5K salary cap hit
Last year’s ranking: No. 9
When the Blackhawks drafted Carlsson in 2016 with their fifth pick in the draft, they were looking for a reliable left-handed defenseman that could provide some added offensive pressure from the blue line. What the Hawks did not expect, was to get a top line defenseman that would score the seventh most goals among all defensemen in the SHL in back-to-back seasons. Just watch this goal from two seasons ago:
17-year old defenseman Lucas Carlsson scored a beauty in the SHL today... pic.twitter.com/DtfGehvLsB— Robert Söderlind (@HockeyWebCast) February 6, 2016
Finishing the 2017-2018 season with seven goals, 10 assists, and averaging more than 20 minutes of ice time per game, Carlsson is becoming the well rounded player that Hawks amateur scouting vice president Mark Kelley saw all along. Carlsson’s ability to play aggressively in both offensive and defensive zones makes him a great two-way player with the ability to cover a lot of ice time.
Kyle Maksimovich nearly pulls off a move on Lucas Carlsson pic.twitter.com/xu9NXvCUBb— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) July 21, 2018
In his SHL career, Carlsson has recorded 14 goals and 24 assists in 136 total games.
What’s next in 2018-19?
Carlsson signed his entry level contract heading into this season. He joins a pool of players like Gustav Forsling, Darren Raddysh, Blake Hillman, Joni Tuulola, Dennis Gilbert and Henri Jokiharju as young defensemen that could join Chicago at some point next season. Expect to see Carlsson play for the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL in his first season in North America.