Rating the best fantasy result for an Erik Karlsson trade


In case you missed it, in an interview with Expressen hockey reporter Adam Johansson last week, Erik Karlsson revealed he’s spoken to Pittsburgh, Seattle, Carolina and Toronto, among other teams, this summer.

The defending Norris Trophy winner, who is coming off a campaign where he became the first defenseman since 1992 to reach 100 points, has been very open in saying he would like to be traded by the San Jose Sharks.

From a fantasy perspective, it will be difficult for the 33-year-old to replicate what he did in 2022-23. That said, there’s no doubt that some teams are a better fit than others.


If Karlsson ends up in Pittsburgh, who many perceive as the favorite right now, it will be the Brent Bruns situation again – this time with Kris Letang. In four seasons together at San Jose, Karlsson and Burns, who are both No. 1 power-play quarterbacks, have never really aligned offensively. Unquestionably, a possible Karlsson-Letang combo on paper looks deadly, but how would that fare in terms of ice time and PP deployment? There’s no doubt that both players would likely see a drop in fantasy stock.


With Tony DeAngelo returning to Carolina, it’s fair to wonder what that means for a potential adjustment between Karlsson and the Hurricanes. Still, there’s no doubt Karlsson would be in trouble for playing time on Carolina’s stacked blue line. On top of that, from Burns and DeAngelo to Jaccob Slavin and Dmitry Orlov, the Canes have plenty of D options to run on the power play. In addition, Rod Brind’Amour likes to distribute the wealth between his two units on the power play. Unfortunately, there is only one puck for everyone.

The Seattle Kraken

Very brazenly, Seattle would be a solid landing spot for Karlsson. This would, however, be bad news for newly signed Vince Dunn. Flying almost completely under the radar last season, the Kraken scored the fourth most goals in the NHL (289). Additionally, Karlsson would provide a significant boost to his power play, one that ranked 21st (19.8%) among the 32 teams in the league in 2022-23.


Imagine Erik Karlsson circling Toronto’s first power play unit with the big boys? Well, that’s unlikely, but one way or the other, obviously that would be bad news for the owners of Morgan Rielly. For several years now, outside of Rielly, the Leafs have really lacked puck-moving presence at the back. Karlsson would definitely change that.


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