Erik Karlsson will leave the Jokerit club team in Finland this week, opting to wait and see if the NHL lockout ends any time soon.
The reigning Norris Trophy winner is scheduled to return home to his native Sweden on Sunday after playing two more games for Jokerit.
“I’ve been here for three months now and I really got settled in everywhere and I’ve enjoyed everything that’s come out of this journey here,” Karlsson told the Jokerit club’s website. “I enjoyed the team a lot and obviously it’s tough taking this decision of heading back home and waiting for what’s going to happen with the lockout, but right now that’s the best option for me.”
In 28 games for Jokerit this season, Karlsson has collected seven goals and 27 points to rank third in team scoring. Last season with the Ottawa Senators, Karlsson was named the NHL’s top defenseman after scoring 78 points.
Now the 22-year-old remains hopeful that his career with the Ottawa Senators will resume next month.
“I hope so. They cancelled all the games through January 14th and hopefully we’ll play on the 15th,” said Karlsson. “I mean that’s what everybody is aiming for right now. I can only hope and pray that the season starts again soon.”