by DT – Warrior Marketing/Social Media
Warrior PRO: Erik Karlsson
Team: Ottawa Senators
Experience: 8th NHL Season
Current Warrior Gear: Covert QRL stick, Covert QR1 Gloves with extra-wide gussets, Covert QRL Pants
One of the most dynamic players in the world today, Erik Karlsson has the rare ability to control the pace of play whenever he is on the ice. Karlsson is the machine that makes the Senators go. A silky-smooth skater with world-class hands and body control, Karlsson makes the most difficult of plays look easy. His unique talents and skill set have made Karlsson into a perennial Norris Trophy candidate and bonafide superstar.
The 15th overall selection in the 2008 Draft, the Landsbro, Sweden native didn’t make the jump to North America right away. Karlsson came to Ottawa the following season for his first training camp in 2009 and promptly made the team. Although he initially struggled and was sent to Binghamton of the AHL, he simply just needed time to adjust to the North American game. After only 12 games in the AHL, Karlsson was recalled by the Senators and has not played a minute in the AHL since.
After a very good 2010-11 season, Karlsson had his breakout year in 2011-12. He led NHL defensemen in scoring (by a 25 point margin), registering 78 points in 81 games and was selected as an All-Star for the first time. He also won his first Norris Trophy that summer as the league’s best defenseman becoming just the second ever Swede to win the award (Warrior PRO Nicklas Lidstrom) and just the third player to win award before age 23.
After a gruesome Achilles tendon injury wiped out most of his 2012-13 season, Karlsson returned in 2013-14 better than ever. That season he led the Senators in scoring for the first time and kicked off a streak of leading team scoring for four straight seasons.
His return for the 2013-14 season also marked his switch to Warrior. After having stick issues with his previous brand, Karlsson began that season by switching into our Covert DT1 LT stick. Erik followed with a switch to Warrior gloves and pants later that same season. He would go on to score 20 goals for the first time and amass 74 points, good for second in Senators team scoring.
In the following seasons he would also set new career highs in goals (21 in 2014-15), assists (66 in 2015-16) and points (82 in 2015-16). Karlsson also won a silver medal with Sweden at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, was named the best defenseman of the 2014 Olympics and won the Norris Trophy for a second time in 2014-15.
This season, Karlsson was named a finalist for the Norris Trophy for the fourth time in his eight seasons.
As you might expect with an elite level player, Erik is extremely in-tune with his gear…especially his sticks. Although his curve hasn’t changed over the years (stock W28), he likes to experiment and try new things, “He’s tried every single option we offer…kick point, flex, grip, you name it.” according to Warrior Pro Rep, Chris Paul.
Even though Erik likes to see our new products and test it out first, he doesn’t necessarily change very often. Especially pants. Most NHL players will go through multiple pairs of pants per season. Not Karlsson. Erik stays with one pair of pants throughout the entire season, even if the Equipment Manager begs him to change. “He likes that worn feel and comfort,” says Paul.
Along with Chris’ attention to detail and ability to get Erik’s equipment dialed in exactly quickly, Karlsson appreciates our approach to Pro Service. “He doesn’t always know what he wants with his gear, but he likes that we work with him to get everything right,” says Paul. He likes that Warrior is laid back in our approach. We don’t smother him or push things on him. He likes that we’re different from other brands that way. And he especially likes that Chris is available 24/7/365. He knows that a call or a text message after a game will always get an answer. He knows that if he has an issue, Chris is just a message away from getting the problem corrected.
That kind of service and dedication goes a long way with players. As a result, Erik has become “a Warrior advocate in the dressing room,” according to Chris. “He’s always talking to guys about Warrior, our service and switching to Warrior.”
We couldn’t ask for anything more.