The NHL Department of Player Safety announced today that San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson has been suspended for two games. This is his first career suspension. Karlsson was also fined $2,500 in 2012 for a crosscheck on Florida Panthers forward Sean Bergenheim.
San Jose’s Erik Karlsson has been suspended for two games for an illegal check to the head on Los Angeles’ Austin Wagner. https://t.co/Z0rvka0KQf
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) December 23, 2018
Erik Karlsson Suspended Two Games
Karlsson has been suspended for two games for an incident with Los Angeles Kings forward Austin Wagner. The Sharks defenseman delivered a huge hit to the head area of Wagner. There was no penalty on the play. Wagner did not return to the game after the hit. The Kings won the game 3-2 in overtime.
So far this season, Karlsson has scored two goals and 24 assists for 26 points in 37 games. He has also added 14 minutes in penalties. His possession numbers are 60.0 percent Corsi-For and a relative Corsi of +8.3.
Karlsson has spent time with the Ottawa Senators and San Jose Sharks over the course of his nine-year NHL career. He has put up 128 goals and 414 assists for 542 career points in 663 career NHL games. The Senators drafted Karlsson 15th overall in 2008. Karlsson was traded to the Sharks during the off-season.
What This Means for the Future
This is a huge loss to the Sharks as Karlsson is one of their top defensemen. Karlsson is part of the Sharks top pairing and is a key part of the top powerplay unit. He has a rocket of a shot from the point as well as incredible vision and passing skills. He has also become a presence in the defensive end. Karlsson is still looking to find his offensive game as he only picked up two goals in 36 games with his new team.
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