Skelleftea IK is a Swedish league team playing in a small city of around 32,000 people — in a rink that holds just 6,000 — yet its impact on the NHL this year has been fairly large.
After winning its second consecutive SHL championship last season, Skelleftea became a virtual IKEA for general managers both in North America and abroad. Three of its key players were signed by NHL clubs — Melker Karlsson with San Jose, Joakim Lindstrom with St. Louis, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare with Philly — while Nashville brought over d-man Johan Alm to play with AHL Milwaukee (and also selected his Skelleftea teammate, Viktor Arvidsson, at the ’14 Entry Draft).
Currently, it’s Karlsson stealing the headlines. He’s scored five goals in his last five games — tying a Sharks record for a rookie (with Jeff Friesen) — and now has 10 points through his first 14 games in the NHL.
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