Binghamton Senators standout rookie defenceman Mattias Karlsson, who represented the B-Sens at the AHL's All-Star Game this past season, has reportedly signed with Timra IK of the Swedish Elite League for the 2009-2010 season, according to Sens Chirp.
Assuming this report is true, it's a minor setback for Ottawa, a major setback for Binghamton. About three weeks ago, I posted about Karlsson and his potential to compete for a spot on the Sens' NHL roster for next year. With the influx of young defensive talent on the team's roster, however--names like Chris Campoli, Alex Picard, Erik Karlsson, Patrick Wiercioch, Craig Schira, and Brendan Bell--Mattias Karlsson apparently decided against the uncertainty of his North American career.
Karlsson, unlike most other defensive prospects in their early 20s, also has a growing family to think about. He's married to a fellow Swede, with one child and a second on the way. As challenging as it will be for organizational depth, one can hardly blame Karlsson for choosing stability and a consistent paycheque over uncertainty and a possibly higher (but probably lower) salary.