by J.T. Toth
Photo of Leo Carlsson courtesy of Second City Hockey.
The 2023 NHL Draft will be here before you know it, and Draft 412 will preview some of the prospects who will be probable first round picks. Draft 412 will review the strengths and weaknesses of each prospect, and where they should land in the NHL Draft. The lottery is scheduled for May 8th so we will have a better idea of where these prospects will be when the Pittsburgh Penguins make their first-round pick.
Name- Leo Carlsson
Team- Orebro HK (SHL)
HT/WT- 6’3” 194 lbs.
Home – Karlstad, SWE
Another one of 2023’s top 5 prospects that would normally be vying to be the #1 overall pick in the draft, Leo Carlsson, has an NHL-ready body to go along with a strong NHL IQ. Carlsson is dangerous with or without the puck, and he always seems to be in the right spot at the right time. Carlsson can use his size and strength to be a presence in front of the net, or to be able to dig a puck out of a corner. Carlsson is reliable in all three zones and always plays through the whistle.
The work ethic of Carlsson is what allows him to stand out over many of the other first round prospects. Carlsson never takes a shift off and is a natural born leader. He's capable of playing well at both center and wing, though Draft 412 prefers Carlsson at wing. At center Carlsson is just not as seasoned and may need a little time.
A fluid skater with the body to protect the puck in corners, Carlsson is elite at puck possession. Add in his soft hands and playmaking ability, and you can see why Carlsson, in most years, would be a candidate to go first overall.
As with the other top 5 prospects in this class, it is hard to find fault with his game. Carlsson may take time to become a center in the NHL, but having Carlsson line up at wing would benefit a team immediately. His skating is fluid and above average, but the speed is not in the elite range with the Bedards and Fantillis of this class.
Leo Carlsson will be a winger in the NHL who can give you some depth down the middle as he grows into that role. Watching film on Carlsson, he has a knack for knowing where the puck will end up. Teams will love the versatility and complete game of Leo Carlsson. After Connor Bedard, 2-5 is as even as I have seen in years. Look for Carlsson to go in the 4-5 spot.
Round 1- Top 5 / #4 on Draft 412 big board.
Closeup photo of Leo Carlsson.