For the first time, Erik Karlsson will not be ranked #1 in our top 25 under 25 rankings. Our special little guy is all grown up and turned 25 on 31 May, thus he is no longer eligible. So instead of doing an article on why Erik Karlsson is the best player under the age of 25, here are some reasons that he is great...just because.
A brief list of some of his most significant accomplishments:
- One of 13 defencemen in NHL history to win the Norris Trophy more than once. He is also one of four defenceman to win it more than once before the age of 25. The other three are Bobby Orr, Denis Potvin and Paul Coffey.
- He has led defenceman in points in 2011-2012, 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. In 2012-2013 he was not able to win the defensive scoring title due to injury, but was playing at a Hart Trophy calibre before his injury.
- Since the start of the 2011-2012 season, Karlsson has 232 points which is 45 more than any other defenceman in that period. He also leads all defencemen in assists, shots on goal and is tied for first in goals since 2011.
- He has made millions of dollars for Filip Kuba and Marc Methot.
With all due respect to Daniel Alfredsson, Erik Karlsson is the best player in team history. He hasn't been around as long, but he is one of the top five or 10 players in the league year after after year, instead of just a very good one. Karlsson is often worth the price of admission on his own with the things that he can do on the ice and how he can take over a game. Over the last four years, he has basically carried his teammates and the Senators are always going to be at least a competitive team with Karlsson on the ice for about half the game.
At 25-years old, he is the captain of the team, face of the franchise and in the prime of his career, what more can Karlsson accomplish individually? There are always more Norris Trophies to be won, but what about a Hart Trophy? It is impossible for one player to make an average team elite, but if the Senators are to ever become championship contenders, it will have to be on Karlsson's back. He was in the conversation for being the best hockey player in February 2013, and he is getting closer and closer to that level again. Will the Senators be able to surround him with a better supporting cast? For all of our sakes, let's hope so but whether Ottawa becomes a contender or not, we are all very lucky to be able to watch Erik Karlsson every game.