The Senators are closing in on a deal to bring top prospect Erik Karlsson to North America next season.
League sources told Sun Media yesterday that talks with Karlsson's agent, Craig Oster, are progressing. All indications are the 18-year-old blueliner will be at Senators' camp in September.
Karlsson, the 15th overall pick in the 2008 NHL draft, can't officially sign until his contract with Sweden's Frolunda Indians expires April 30, but the sides are allowed to negotiate. Talks took place at the under-18 world championship this month in Fargo, N.D.
While Karlsson is expected to sign, it's uncertain where he'll play next season. The 5-foot-11, 165-pounder has NHL skills, but must get stronger.
The Senators want Karlsson to come to North America this summer to train with their staff and prepare to compete for a spot with the club.
If he doesn't make the team, he could be sent to AHL Binghamton. The Senators have promised Karlsson he won't be sent to a major junior team in North America because he's been playing against men in Sweden. He also has an offer to return to the Indians, where he played 45 games this past season.
Karlsson had just five goals and five assists, but indications are he saw limited playing time with Frolunda.