The No. 2 Overall Pick Signs Rich Deal With The Ducks

The Anaheim Ducks surprised some at the NHL Draft when they selected Swedish Junior Hockey Player of the Year Leo Carlsson with the No. 2 overall pick ahead of Hobey Baker winner Adam Fantilli. But after taking stock of the 18-year-old Carlsson's supreme performance in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), they were sold. 

And now they've got his name on a three-year entry-level contract, making him the fourth player in this year's Top 10 to sign on the dotted line. 

As is the case with all the top picks, the deal carries a $950,000 cap hit, but for Carlsson, bonuses will bring the total value to $12.6M for a $4.2M AAV.

His 25 points in 44 games in the SHL were the 5th highest ever for a draft-eligible Swede, behind only Daniel and Henrik Sedin (42 & 34 points respectively in 1998-99), Elias Lindholm (30 points in 2012-13), and Nicklas Backstrom (26 points in 2005-06).

Duck assistant GM Martin Madden is super-impressed with Carlsson’s “unbelievable hockey sense in every phase of the game," and feels that he can be an impact center at both ends of the ice. 

“He’s so calm yet so focused,” Madden said. “Aware of what’s going on on the ice. Makes players around him better. And that will continue to happen because every level he played at this year, he was able to do that. Whether he was playing wing or was playing center at the world championships, he rose to that level to a degree that allowed him to be one of the best players in every instance.

“On top of that, he made his linemates better. That’s No. 1. That’s the most important part of his game that we see continue to allow him to grow into a dominant first-line center for us in the future.”

Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports