Karlsson reached the rare milestone with his 25th goal in his 80th game of the season, keeping pace with the five other defensemen who’ve scored at least 100 points in a single campaign. It marks his 26th power-play point of this incredible individual year.
ERIK KARLSSON IS THE FIRST DEFENSEMAN SINCE 1992 TO HIT 100 POINTS 🤯 pic.twitter.com/6S4DBrcHrd
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) April 11, 2023
Karlsson joins an exclusive list of defensemen with at least one season at 100+ points, alongside Bobby Orr (career-high: 139 points), Paul Coffey (138), Al MacInnis (103), Brian Leetch (102) and Denis Potvin (101).
At 32, Karlsson stands alone as the oldest defenseman to reach the century-mark for points. According to NHL Public Relations, he is the only blueliner in league history above the age of 30 to pull off the feat.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 11, 2023
To say the Swedish defenseman has set new career-highs would be making an understatement. Karlsson’s previous career best for points was 82 points (set in 2015-16), and his previous career best for goals was 21 back in 2014-15. Indeed, it’s remarkable that the two-time Norris Trophy winner is absolutely smoking his all-time marks in his 14th NHL season.
While the Sharks’ team-wide struggles may keep the door open in the Norris Trophy debate, it’s fair to mention that Karlsson isn’t just authoring a historic offensive season. Although you can knock Karlsson’s defensive game, he’s been a beast in transition for the lowly Sharks.
Heading into Monday, Karlsson ranked among five skaters with more than 70 even-strength points this season. (Vince Dunn ranked second among defensemen with what would normally be an impressive 49 even-strength points.)
In the salary cap era, there are only two defensemen who have reached 90+ points in a single season: Karlsson (100 and counting this season) and Roman Josi (96 in 2021-22). Since 2005-06, the third-highest total was 86 points (Cale Makar last season).