Erik Karlsson
The Carolina Hurricanes have signed Swedish forward Erik Karlsson, their fourth-round draft choice in 2012, to an entry-level contract.

With the deal in place, Karlsson, who has no relation to the Ottawa Senators defenseman by the same name, is eligible to join the Checkers as early as next season, though he could also opt to stay overseas. Had the Hurricanes not signed him, he would have re-entered the draft and been available for another team to select later next month.

A winger who registered three assists while playing alongside Hurricanes center Elias Lindholm at the most recent World Junior Championship, Karlsson, 19, scored six points (5g, 1a) in 41 games with Frolunda of the Swedish Hockey League last season.

“Erik played well at the World Juniors, and has shown improvement each year since he was drafted,” Hurricanes General Manager Ron Francis said in a team release. “He has good speed and adds to our team’s organizational depth at forward.”

Karlsson (6 feet, 180 pounds) attended each of the Hurricanes’ two prospect camps since his draft along with several players that could end up being teammates in Charlotte.

Via the Carolina Hurricanes' Michael Smith, here's a vide of Francis profiling Karlsson from last summer's camp:
Paul Branecky
Author: Paul BraneckyEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The Checkers' vice president of communications, Paul Branecky has been covering hockey in North Carolina since 2006, including five seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes.