The Sharks are about to get a key piece back up front.
Karlsson suffered a lower-body injury in training camp, which sidelined him for all 14 games this season — a big loss, according to head coach Peter DeBoer.
“Everyone talks about [Logan] Couture being out of the lineup,” DeBoer explained, per CSN Bay Area. “I think Melker missing, too, has hurt us in a lot of different areas.”
Karlsson, 25, joined the Sharks last year following a successful pro career in Sweden, where he helped Skelleftea capture back-to-back championships in ’13 and ’14. San Jose was so impressed with his first season in North America that it inked Karlsson to a two-year, $3.25 million extension in June.
Last year, Karlsson benefited from playing on the team’s top line, next to Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski. It’s unclear if he’ll reprise that role now, as another European rookie — 23-year-old Finn Joonas Donskoi — has fared well in that spot lately, with two points in his last three games.