Carlsson, 25, was one of the players that did not receive a qualifying offer this summer, making him an unrestricted free agent after playing sparingly for the Columbus Blue Jackets the last several years. Originally selected 29th overall in the 2015 draft, he has just 75 games played at the NHL level.
While 38 of those games did come this year, there’s not a lot of track record to go on for Carlsson, given he has averaged fewer than 13 minutes a night in his short career. He’s huge–6’5″–and can skate well enough, but hasn’t ever been much of a puck-mover and offers very little offensive upside. In his minor league career, which spans 146 games in the AHL, he has just 32 points.
Still, in terms of depth signings, a 25-year-old first-round pick that has size and (some) NHL experience certainly isn’t the worst option. The Capitals have enough at the position between their returning veterans and younger prospects that Carlsson shouldn’t be asked to play regularly, and will likely spend a good bit of the year in the minor leagues.