Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/09/12 at 11:25 AM ET
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson has been dazzling enough this season that any discussion of his impact seems to include a comparison to the two most accomplished defensemen in NHL history.
Karlsson, 21, has been compared to a young version of Swedish countryman Nicklas Lidstrom because of the way he sees plays unfolding. Also, he has a chance to be the youngest player to win the Norris Trophy since 20-year-old Bobby Orr won it in 1968.
“His speed, vision, puck carrying, and passing skills make him one of the more gifted offensive players in the league,” said NBC analyst Pierre McGuire, a former NHL coach. “He is also just scratching the surface of his skills, too.”
Karlsson is seventh in the NHL in scoring with 67 points and he’s 23 points ahead of No. 2 defenseman Brian Campbell of the Florida Panthers.
“I think he plays a little bit like Nick did early in his career,” said Senators general manager Bryan Murray, who coached Lidstrom in Detroit years ago. “Nick took chances early in his career, but he knew how to get his body back in good position. And Karlsson is very fast about getting back.”
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