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Karlsson comes in for Lightning

Building for the club’s debut Elite League season continues with the Smith Recycling MK Lightning announcing the signing of Swedish forward Ludwig Karlsson from IK Pantern in Sweden.

Ludwig, 26, is a former Swedish junior international and also brings significant experience from seven seasons playing in North American leagues. As well as having earned entry level contracts with NHL teams the Ottawa Senators and Dallas Stars he was also selected for development camps with the Senators, Stars and Nashville Predators.

He began his career in his home country with Linköping aged 15, where he stayed until 2009 when he moved to the United States, signing with Green Bay Gamblers in the USHL – the top junior league in the country.  In his first season there, the team lifted the Clark Cup as league champions.  In 2013 he signed a two year entry level contract with the NHL’s Ottawa Senators and was seconded to the club’s AHL affiliate, Binghamton Senators.  A year later he was traded to the Dallas Stars who assigned him to their AHL affiliate, the Texas Stars.

Image: Dan Hickling

After leaving the Stars organisation he remained in the US for a further term, with Colorado Eagles in the ECHL – part of the team which finished at the top of the league’s Western Conference.   He returned to his native Sweden in 2016 for a campaign in the second tier of the sport and now finds himself looking forward to his first taste of the British game, with Milton Keynes Lightning.

Ludwig spoke of how much he is looking forward to his new challenge with the Lightning:

“I’m super excited to come to a country I’ve never visited but always wanted to go to – and now I get to come and play hockey and live there!

“I’m stoked to have the opportunity to play for a team that I’m told will be built on trust and experience. I believe we’re going to have a great group of guys that will compete for each other and I know we’ll do everything we can to build a winning culture.

“I understand that the UK Elite League is tougher than other European Leagues, which excites me.  I can’t wait to start skating with my new team mates in August, and have a great, successful season!”

Head Coach Pete Russell commented:

“I have a really good feeling about Ludwig.  He has good size, he’s highly skilled, a great skater and can make plays at high speed.  He’s a ‘pass first’ guy who is productive on the powerplay.

“Everyone I’ve spoken to about Ludwig had nothing but good things to say about his character and what a cool, relaxed guy he is.  He’s had a tough year last year after returning to Sweden after a long stay in North America but he can’t wait to get going here in Milton Keynes, and I’m delighted to add him to our roster.”

Elite Prospects – Ludwig Karlsson
Ludwig Karlsson’s home, away and warm up jerseys are now available for sponsorship on our Own & Loan Scheme on a first come, first served basis – the cost is £200 per home or away shirt and £150 for warm up.  Email your application and any questions to
Be a part of our history: book your season ticket for MK Lightning’s first ever Elite League season and take advantage of our money-saving Early Bird deal! CLICK HERE for all the info and to download your application form.