William Karlsson

William Karlsson

31-Year-Old CenterC
Vegas Golden Knights
2023 Fantasy Outlook
Karlsson returned to the 50-point mark for the first time since 2018-19 with 14 goals and 39 assists in 82 contests last season. The Swede has settled in as a reliable all-situations center for the Golden Knights, capable of playing tough matchups and contributing solid offense. His offense mostly comes from assists -- he hasn't topped the 20-goal mark in four years, which puts a damper on his fantasy value. He's also finished on the positive side of zero in plus-minus for seven years running. Karlsson may not be a regular 50-point threat heading into his 30s, but he's a solid mid-to-late-round depth forward in fantasy leagues this year. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed an eight-year, $47.2 million contract extension with the Golden Knights in June of 2019.
Plays through injury
CVegas Golden Knights
May 5, 2024
Karlsson played through a lower-body injury during the Golden Knights' first-round playoff series versus the Stars, which concluded with a 2-1 loss in Game 7 on Sunday, Danny Webster of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
ANALYSIS
The injury wasn't bad enough to keep Karlsson off the ice, but it was obvious he was struggling, as he was limited to two helpers over seven games. He added nine shots on net, eight hits, five blocked shots and a plus-4 rating from a third-line role. Karlsson was a 60-point contributor in the regular season, and he should fill a middle-six role again in 2024-25.
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NHL Stats
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2023 NHL Game Log
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2022 NHL Game Log
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2023–24 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    17:36
  • Average Power Play TOI:
    2:34
  • Average Short-Handed TOI:
    1:53
 
Ice Time
Power Play
Short-Handed
2021–22
18:17
2:02
1:32
2022–23
17:28
1:41
1:29
2023–24
17:36
2:34
1:53
Golden Knights Depth Chart
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Golden Knights Power Play Depth Chart
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Latest Fantasy Rumors
Identified as X-factor
CVegas Golden Knights
October 5, 2022
Karlsson could be an X-factor for the Golden Knights in 2022-23, Jesse Granger of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
While it's likely Karlsson doesn't reverse his downward trend on offense, he'll still be an important part of Vegas' forward group. New head coach Bruce Cassidy praised his hockey IQ in particular, but opening the year on the third line likely means Karlsson's defensive play and his ability to capitalize on the chances he sees will be important. Of course, he could move up the lineup if injuries arise.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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Karlsson's production has dropped each of his five years with the Golden Knights, with the recently completed campaign being his worst to date. In 67 games last season, Karlsson managed just a dozen goals and 35 points. It's been a steep, steady decline for a player who produced at nearly a point-per-game pace as recently as the 2017-18 season. The Swede won't be 30 years old until January, so there should still be plenty of gas left in the tank here, but Karlsson appears to be nothing more than a late-round fantasy dart throw until further notice.
Karlsson can blame a short season for setting a new low in scoring output (14 goals, 39 points in 56 games) in his Golden Knights tenure. All things considered, he's still the team's top center barring any blockbuster trades. The Swede likely would have exceeded his 46-point output from 2019-20 in a full campaign, and he could have challenged to return to the 60-point mark. The 28-year-old should remain involved in all situations heading into 2021-22, giving him some added appeal in formats that count shorthanded points. The rest of his offense will likely come down to how well his playmaking suits the other top-six forwards on the roster, namely longtime linemates Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith.
We knew Karlsson's 43-goal season in 2017-18 was a fluke, but now we're wondering where his floor lies. His 15 goals and 46 points last season were his lowest totals as a Knight, and that performance was barely passable for a top-six center. He's a beneficiary of ice time on a team that lacks depth down the middle, but it's becoming increasingly clear Vegas will need someone more talented to take advantage of its star wingers. He's already been supplanted on the power play by the Golden Knights younger but more talented centers, and that will put a cap on his offensive production heading into 2020-21. There's not much risk with Karlsson, but at such a deep position, fantasy managers are probably better off taking chances on players with more upside in the middle rounds.
Flush with cash as a third-year club, Vegas signed Karlsson to an eight-year, $47 million contract in June. He and Senators castoff Mark Stone -- who inked an eight-year, $76 million deal of his own -- project to be the cornerstones of a young franchise that has already experienced unprecedented success, including a Stanley Cup Final appearance in its inaugural season. Karlsson dialed in 24 goals, 32 assists and 14 power-play points last year, but the output looks paltry compared to his numbers from 2018-19, when he stacked a career-high 78 points on top of a league-best plus-49 rating. The Golden Knights have a lot vested in "Wild Bill," so he should continue seeing plentiful man-advantage minutes while cementing his status as a set-and-forget fantasy option.
After being exposed by the Blue Jackets and getting selected by Vegas in the expansion draft, Karlsson was arguably the biggest fantasy surprise of 2017-18. Centering the top line with Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault, Karlsson scored a whopping 43 goals last season. After recording just 15 goals in two seasons with Columbus, his transformation into an elite goal-scorer almost seems unfathomable. Karlsson and the Golden Knights avoided arbitration with a one-year, $5.25 million contract in the summer, as the centre will have to prove 2017-18 was no fluke. Karlsson is a special player, but expecting him to sustain his 23.4 shooting percentage and record another 40-goal season is unrealistic. While a regression is likely, look for Karlsson to still be a dynamic scorer on the top line and first power-play unit.
Karlsson put together a second straight quality campaign in 2016-17, filling a bottom-six role for the Blue Jackets that didn't provide him with many scoring opportunities but allowed him to show effective two-way play. The 24-year-old doesn't have any one elite skill, but his well-rounded game should provide him with a long NHL career, and he could put some extra points on the board in the right situation — like the one he now finds himself in after being selected by Las Vegas in the expansion draft. On a Golden Knights squad lacking established scoring threats up the middle, Karlsson may be receive more opportunities than he saw in Columbus.
Karlsson played a full NHL schedule for the first time in his young career last year and showed flashes of potential, but the 23-year-old still only managed 20 points while skating on the third and fourth lines for a poor Columbus team. The Jackets' lack of depth up the middle could allow him to sneak into a larger role at some point should injuries strike, and he could be productive if given a chance, but he mostly appears to be little more than an afterthought in a system flush with top prospects pushing their way toward the NHL.
The 21-year-old Karlsson will compete for the Ducks' third-line center job in training camp against fellow Swede Rickard Rakell. Should he fail to win the gig, a full season at AHL Norfolk likely awaits for Karlsson.
More Fantasy News
Gets on scoresheet Friday
CVegas Golden Knights
May 3, 2024
Karlsson registered an assist in Friday's 2-0 win over the Stars in Game 6.
ANALYSIS
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Picks up 30th assist, 60th point
CVegas Golden Knights
April 18, 2024
Karlsson logged a power-play assist and three shots on goal in Thursday's 4-1 loss to the Ducks.
ANALYSIS
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Two late goals send game to OT
CVegas Golden Knights
April 14, 2024
Karlsson scored twice in the third period to send the game to overtime in Sunday's 4-3 victory over Colorado.
ANALYSIS
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Adds insurance tally
CVegas Golden Knights
April 12, 2024
Karlsson scored a goal on five shots and blocked two shots in Friday's 7-2 win over the Wild.
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Gathers helper
CVegas Golden Knights
April 10, 2024
Karlsson notched a shorthanded assist and two hits in Wednesday's 5-1 loss to the Oilers.
ANALYSIS
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