The Columbus Blue Jackets picked up Swedish-born forward William Karlsson from the Anaheim Ducks at the 2015 trade deadline, acquiring ‘Wild Bill’ from the Pacific Division in exchange for defenseman James Wisniewski as part of a package deal.
Now, one year after bringing him into their system, the Blue Jackets have decided to keep him around for two more years.
The Blue Jackets inked Karlsson to a two-year extension on Thursday afternoon, per a report by James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail. The team confirmed the deal via press release, while Rob Mixer reported that the deal is worth $2 million in total. Karlsson will get a flat $1 million per season in each 2016-17 and 2017-18, then become a restricted free agent once more.
Drafted by the Ducks with the 53rd overall pick in 2011, Karlsson first came to North America to play in the spring of 2014. Since coming over, he’s played in a collective 102 career NHL games, including a nearly full 81-game season this past year that saw him put up nine goals and 20 points. His numbers have suggested that the 23-year-old has plenty of promise as a supplementary offensive player for the club, which earned him this most recent bridge deal.
The Blue Jackets are still without a deal for arguably their most important pending RFA this summer, blue liner Seth Jones – and that will need to be signed sooner rather than later. Given the cost-controlled element of this deal, though, it’s a good signing to see for the Ohio-based club.