William Karlsson Report Card for the Blue Jackets' 2016-17 Season

By Sam Blazer on May 19, 2017 at 8:36 am
William Karlsson gets ready before a game.

Aaron Doster-USA Today Sports


Often thought of as the second best Swedish player on the team, William Karlsson had been able to carve out a great niche for himself on the Columbus Blue Jackets.

It's a nice area for him to be in as a third-line center. He doesn't have the weight of the world on him and is able to play his game. 

For someone who has shown great skill in spurts, it is tough to project where he ends up with the team. Can he and will he grow into a higher level player? Or is he destine to be a bottom-six player?

What did we expect?

A bottom-six center that pitched in on the penalty kill as well. He didn't have a lot expected of him. It was a good fit for him in that way.

Considering his skill, it wouldn't have been a surprise if he stepped up in a pinch for the top-six. Expectations could have been higher. His track record doesn't necessarily inspire confidence in the NHL. 

Putting up another 20 point season would've been right in line with where everyone thought he should be.

What did we get?

A serviceable bottom-six center.

You could classify him as consistent. He doesn't "wow" you with his play. Often lost in the shuffle, it was Karlsson that did a lot of the dirty work. He wasn't necessarily a grinder but he did a lot of the grinders work. 

He did fine on the penalty kill and would often go against highly skilled centers. It was a thankless job for the most part.

In the regular season, he put up six goals and 19 assists for a total of 25 points. They were in line with most projections. You hope upon all hope that he could be a second line center but it is seemingly not in the cards.

Where he really made his money this season was in the playoffs. Putting up three points in five games, it allowed for the team to rely upon him as a key contributor.

As for his shot differential, he suffered along with his other line mates with a low percentage. At 47.3%, he had one of the better percentages on his line but given what he brings to the table, it would be good to see it over the average of 50%.

REGULAR SEASON 81 6 19 25 10 10 1 1 0 2 1 0 96 6.3
PLAYOFFS 5 2 1 3 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 12 16.7

Memorable Moment

One of the best moments of the entire season was the goal scored by Karlsson to help the Blue Jackets beat the Pittsburgh Penguins. He kicked it into another gear and for as long as he is with the team, he'll be remembered for this performance.

William Karlsson scores the game-winning goal in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

He beats Sidney Crosby to the puck and he outworks Ian Cole. It is a special, special goal. As far as solo efforts go it doesn't get much better.

Contract Status

According to CapFriendly.com Karlsson has one year left on his deal. The deal expires at the end of the 2017-18 season. He is currently being paid 1 million a year. He will be a restricted free agent at the end of his contract.