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Top of the lottery prospects: Leo Carlsson’s 2023 Draft foreseen, young and Swede, only 18

It’s an Abba pun. Get it? Because he’s Swedish?!

Finland v Sweden: Quarterfinals - 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Dale Preston/Getty Images

It looks like 2023 could be a big year for Swedish center Leo Carlsson, who just was ranked #1 by the NHL in his draft class for international skaters — interestingly ahead of Russian prospect Matvei Michkov.

Carlsson rang in the new year with six points (3G, 3A) in seven games for Sweden in the World Juniors, and his international team track record is equally impressive— with 17 points (10 G, 7 A) in 15 games.

He’s also playing well in the Swedish Hockey League, having already beaten all of his numbers from the 2021-22 season, when he had nine points (3 G, 6 A) in 35 games. In 29 games with Örebro this season, Carlsson has 17 points (5 G, 12 A) — all five goals scored on the power play. For those counting— he’s at 7 points (5 G, 2 A) in the past 10 games.

Here’s his most recent goal, where he shatters his stick while redirecting a slot pass top-shelf:

Thanks, @LeoCarlssonNews.

Carlsson has been ranked No. 3 pretty consistently in most 2023 draft class lists, behind Connor Bedard and Adam Fantilli. Among his fans is TSN’s Bob McKenzie, who said this about him during the January draft rank:

Among his draft class, he’s known for his hands, size, and good puck protection skills. The NHL’s VP of central scouting, Dan Marr, told ESPN:

Check out his stickhandling ability here:

His skating, here:

And his shooting, here:

Carlsson’s play is also helped by his size. At 6-foot-3 and 194 pounds, he’s a big guy, who is frequently compared to a tank or a horse:

However, his most important draft update comes in the form of a 13-minute long YouTube video released by Örebro of Carlsson’s house tour. It’s entirely in Swedish (a language I do not speak) with zero subtitles (not that I could read them anyways) but I figured it is my journalistic duty to watch the whole thing and report some key takeaways:

  1. He’s got a framed No. 2 Lonzo Ball Lakers jersey on his wall.
  2. Cereal of choice appears to be Special K.

And that’s about it. He did discuss the 2023 NHL Draft, but because the conversation was in Swedish, looks like we’ll just have to wait for translation.