Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators is the embodiment of today’s fast, creative, puck-moving defenceman. 2011-12’s winner of the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenceman is – like Bobby Orr, Paul Coffey, Scott Niedermayer or rival Kris Letang – a player who controls his team’s attack from the back and is more dangerous than most forwards in the other team’s end. Karlsson’s speed and passing are key to the Senators’ success; before his 2013 season was cut short by an Achilles tendon injury, he was on his way to another outstanding season.
- Born: Lansbro, Sweden, 1990
- Height/weight: 183 cm (6’0″) / 82 kg (180 lbs)
- Position: defence
- NHL teams: Ottawa Senators
- Drafted: 2008 by Ottawa Senators (first round, 15th overall)
- Awards: James Norris Memorial Trophy (best defenceman) – 2012; first NHL All-Star team – 2012