Hockey News

The stars' faith in Karlström has been rewarded with a strong season

Patrick WilliamsFeatures Writer for

Fredrik Karlström he spent months – months of physical rehabilitation and recovery – working his way back to get another chance to compete for the Calder Cup championship.

The 2022-23 season was a promising season. The leading scorer had 26 points in 47 games for the Texas Stars. He would go on to play five more games in the NHL with Dallas – another payment on a long road that began when the Stars selected him in the third round of the 2016 NHL Draft, a road through Sweden's lower levels and the second level. before Karlström played four seasons in the Swedish Hockey League in the top flight with Linkoping HC and Växjö HC.

Karlström had a strong first season in North America in 2021-22, including his first three NHL games. Then came a serious injury in a game against Coachella Valley on March 12th. 2023. He missed the entire regular season. He missed the Stars in the Rockford semifinals. He missed the five-game losing streak to Milwaukee in the division finals. He missed everything.

“You're hurt by a player,” the Texas Stars coach said Neil Graham said. “He feels for the player.”

Nevertheless, Dallas offered Karlström a one-year contract last June. It was an improvement that came after a major setback.

“It showed that they really believed in me,” said Karlström. “They really showed that they believe in me. When I got injured, they treated me like I was a normal NHL'er, I felt like, so I'm very grateful for that.”

He also used his extra time outside the lineup. He doubled his work on nutrition and strength. If he had to go out on the ice, he made sure he didn't waste time.

“I'd say I came back stronger than before,” said Karlström.

Second, he made a comeback on opening night on October 13. In addition, he played in all of Texas' 72 regular season games this season, a vindication of all his rehab work.

“I didn't think I would come back that quickly,” Karlström admitted. “To be able to play the first game of the season and reach 72 games, that gave me a lot of confidence.”

Graham said, “He did a good job coming back this year to be able to start on time. Not only did he start camp on time, he had a consistent year. It was his most consistent season in his three seasons in North America. He is a pillar in our lineup.”

He also had a career year offensively, leading the AHL in scoring with 21 goals, 23 assists, 44 points and a team-best 14-point average. Graham can use Karlström as a top six forward, as well as on both the power play and the penalty kill. And co-workers Matej Blümel again Oscar BäckKarlström is one of the three that Graham can count on to manage all three areas effectively.

Karlström, 26, has also taken on a major leadership role. His play on the boards improved, a solid addition to a toolkit that already included strong skating, good reach, ability to distribute the puck and a solid offensive game.

His production carried over directly into the postseason, too. His two power play goals were goals in Texas' 2-0 series win over Manitoba on April 25, and he assisted on a key insurance goal in Game 2 of the series against Milwaukee on Saturday.

“If you look at his numbers, he's been consistent,” Graham continued. “(But) he's found ways to do things that don't fit on the game sheet, that adds confidence and minutes. He has been a great part of our team.” features writer Patrick Williams has covered the American Hockey League for nearly two decades at outlets including, Sportsnet, TSN, Hockey News, SiriusXM NHL Network Radio and SLAM ! Sports, and most recently was the host of The Hockey News On The 'A' podcast. He was the recipient of the AHL's James H. Ellery Memorial Award for the league's top scorer in 2016.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button