Thanks to the over 80 of you who voted in our poll! We combined your votes and the writers’ votes and our Top 25 Under 25 continues today:
#13: Gabriel Carlsson
13th out of 34 eligible players
Writers’ Vote: 16th
Readers’ Vote: 12th
Highest Placement: 6th (3 votes)
Most Common Placement: 10th (9 votes)
Birthdate: January 2nd, 1997
Birthplace: Örebro, Sweden
Weight: 192 lbs
Acquired: Drafted #29 overall, 1st round 2015
Gabriel Carlsson made the opening night roster for the Columbus Blue Jackets, but that was pretty much it in Union Blue. After his first game, he was sent down to the Monsters on October 9th. Carlsson was recalled 4 times but did not get on the ice.
For the Monsters, Carlsson recorded a 2-10-12 line with only 14 PIMs in 67 games. He added 3 assists in 8 game during the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Our optimistic Monsters’ correspondent, Elaine Shircliff had this to say (after watching Carlsson far, far more than any of the other writers):
“Anyone who says Carlsson has little to no offensive skills did not watch the Monsters this season. Three games into his 2018-19 season with Cleveland, Carlsson had a three point night. Which he followed up with his first goal of the season the next night. When Carlsson wasn’t putting points on the stats sheet, he was setting up plays after stealing pucks from the opponent.
Once January hit, it was very clear the Monsters need a bit more help on the defense end of things. Carlsson began to play more defensively minded the rest of the season. This helped the Monsters make that final push to get into playoffs.
Most of Carlsson’s season was spent playing with Adam Clendening on the top pairing. Honestly, they were a phenomenal powerhouse. If the Jackets want another solid pairing, they should bring Clendening and Carlsson up to Columbus together. It would be a nice balance to the Seth Jones and Zach Werenski pairing.”
Carlsson is clearly on the short list of call-ups, but has had one or two guys in front of him for ice time. That might change with the departure of Bobrovsky. A defense-first defenseman could be a bigger asset playing in front of less experienced goaltenders. We’ll probably know early in the season. I don’t see him making the Jackets roster off the bat. Seth Jones, Zach Werenski, David Savard, Markus Nutivaara, and Ryan Murray will have the top 5 spots. Big money Scott Harrington will be taking on Dean Kukan and Vladislav Gavrikov for that 6th spot, presumably.
No one is quite as optimistic on Carlsson as Elaine, but I do think it’s a bit early to define him as an AHL defenseman. However, this is kinda funny (in a d’oh, kind of way).
In 2016, Carlsson came in at #22 on the list. In 2018, he was listed a #17. And, because it’s kinda fun, go back in time to check out his draft profile by BrightandSunny from 2015.