Erik Karlsson's Back In Town

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With training camp set to begin in less then a month, a few of your Ottawa Senators have trickled back into town as they prepare for the 2011-2012 season. Yesterday, Erik Karlsson arrived back in town and spoke with the Ottawa media on a variety of topics. Check out the interview courtesy of SensTV.

Here are my thoughts from the interview:

The upcoming season and his role: Karlsson is excited for the season and can’t wait to get going. Hopefully he can channel his excitement for the upcoming season into a great start. Last year, Karlsson started off the season with four points in his first 11 games. That’s not a horrible start, but Karlsson is capable of so much more.

Karlsson also said that he is excited for his new role on the team as he will be a mentor to a few of the Swedes new to the team. Daniel Alfredsson looked after Karlsson when he arrived in Ottawa, and Karlsson hopes to do the same for his fellow countrymen to help ease the transition to Ottawa. He is also relishing the role as a go-to guy on the team. That’s good news to hear as Karlsson has that smooth demeanor that seems like he can handle the pressure that will be put on his shoulders.

Upcoming season predictions: With most hockey analysts predicting that Ottawa will finish near or in the basement of the eastern conference this upcoming season, Karlsson admits that this season will be tough. But he is confident in the team and its players that they will be competitive this year and fun to watch.

Will Ottawa make the playoffs: Karlsson doesn’t know if Ottawa will make the playoffs this year. He doesn’t know who will be on the team yet and what will shake out in the eastern conference. You got to respect the truthful response from Karlsson. He could have feed us an over-used cliche but didn’t. He gave an honest evaluation of the team and it shows that he is maturing into a man.

Thoughts on David Rundblad:  Karlsson describes Rundblad as a puck moving D-man, who is similar to himself, that can move the puck and put up a lot of points. Karlsson plans to help Rundblad with adjusting to Ottawa and the organization and he believes Rundblad will do well where ever he plays this year (whether in Ottawa or Binghamton).

Thoughts on Andre Petersson and Mika Zibanejad: Karlsson thinks Petersson is a highly skilled forward who is a pure goal scorer. Knowing him since they were kids, Karlsson is expecting big things from Petersson. As for Zibanejad, Karlsson doesn’t know him that well, but has skated with him a few times since coming back into town. Karlsson sees Zibanejad as a big, strong player with a lot of technique and he believes that he will star in this league very soon.

And lastly, in a report coming out of Sweden, Karlsson has been training all summer to build strength and get faster. As stated in the report,

Among other things Karlsson (is) using an athletic trainer for finding the next gear in its physical training. - I’ve trained a lot of balance and becoming strong in different situations. He has put up an exercise program based solely on me and my needs. It will pay off, says Erik Karlsson.

With Karlsson in the last year of his entry level contract, he is hoping for a big year so he can cash in on a new deal with Ottawa. From his interview and the report out of Sweden, Karlsson looks fully prepared for a huge year this season. We’ll find out soon enough.

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Tags: Andre Petersson David Rundblad Erik Karlsson Erik Karlsson Is Back In Ottawa Mika Zibanejad Ottawa Senators Training Camp 2011

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