Senators blueliner Erik Karlsson signs with Finnish team

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Ottawa, ON, Canada (4E Sports) – Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson has agreed to see action for Jokerit of the Finnish Elite League while waiting for the NHL lockout to be lifted.

The 22-year-old Karlsson won the Norris Trophy last season as the league’s top defenseman. The Swede had a career-high 78 points (19-59) in 81 games with the Senators last year.

According to his agent, Don Meehan, Karlsson will play for the duration of the lockout and is expected to make his debut with the team on Saturday.

Recently, Karlsson signed a seven-year, $45.5-million contract extension with the Senators.

Karlsson was the third Senators player to head overseas, behind Jason Spezza and Sergei Gonchar, who will play in Switzerland and Russia, respectively.

Karlsson also added his name to the growing list of players who signed with a foreign team while the labor standoff is ongoing.

Recently, Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty recently agreed to play for Ambri-Piotta in the Swiss A League, joining teammates Raphael Diaz and Yannick Weber.

Meanwhile, Canadiens defenseman Tomas Kaberle and center Tomas Plekanec have signed to play in the Czech Republic while blueliner Alexei Emelin has returned to Kontinental Hockey League’s Ak-Bars Kazan.

Other players who will play overseas are Bruins No. 1 goalie Tuukka Rask, Andrew Ference, Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky, Dallas’ Jaromir Jagr, Ondrej Pavelec, Michal Neuvirt and Dennis Seidenberg, Tyler Seguin and Anton Khudobin.

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