After making his NHL debut last night for the Vancouver Canucks, the team announces Linus Karlsson has been sent back down to their AHL affiliate, the Abbotsford Canucks. Meanwhile, in the same announcement, Vancouver has recalled defenseman Akito Hirose.
It was no question as to why Karlsson was originally called up by the Canucks, as the young forward is off to a blazing start in the AHL this year. In 13 games played in Abbotsford, Karlsson has two goals and nine assists, good for fifth on the team in scoring.
Now that Andrei Kuzmenko is expected back into the lineup for the team’s next game, Karlsson will continue to grow his game at the AHL level for the time being. He was originally acquired by the Canucks in a 2019 trade with the San Jose Sharks, making his way to North America last season.
In the case of Hirose, he will serve as a depth defenseman for the team, much like he has done over the last two seasons when he has been in the NHL. So far this year, Hirose has suited up in two games for Vancouver, averaging a touch over 12 and a half minutes of ice time per night.
Hirose is also scoreless in 11 games at the AHL level, indicating he may need more seasoning in the minor leagues to get back to the production levels he saw during his tenure at Minnesota State University. Nevertheless, with both Hirose and Karlsson on the roster in Abbotsford, the team has gotten off to an 8-4-1 start, being one of the better teams in the AHL to start the year.