A day after the Chicago Blackhawks won the 2013 Stanley Cup, Blackhawks prospect Henrik Karlsson has signed with Skellefteå in Sweden.
Undrafted in the NHL, Karlsson was signed as a free agent by the San Jose Sharks prior to the 2009–10 season, but was returned to Sweden and took up starting duties with Färjestad, where he appeared in 34 games, posting four shutouts and a 2.45 goals against average. He suffered an injury late in the season that prevented him from playing in the playoffs as Färjestad was eliminated in the first round. He finished fourth in the league save percentage and tied for second in shutouts.
With the chances of playing with the Sharks in 2010–11 looking thin, he contemplated signing with a team in the Kontinental Hockey League before his NHL rights were dealt by the Sharks to the Calgary Flames for a sixth round pick at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.The Flames quickly signed Karlsson to a new one-year contract, and was expected to compete for the backup role to starter Miikka Kiprusoff. He appeared in 17 games as the Flames’ backup, finishing with a 4–5–6 record and a goals against average of 2.38.
Following the season, he re-signed with the team, agreeing to a two-year deal worth $1.725 million. Karlsson struggled early in the 2011–12 NHL season, failing to win his first five decisions before suffering a torn medial collateral ligament in a game against the Vancouver Canucks on December 4 that caused him to miss two months of play. When he returned to action, he was often passed over for third goaltender Leland Irving when the team wanted with rest Kiprusoff, and consequently appeared in only nine games during the season. He was traded to Chicago in January of 2013.
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