Erik Karlsson is 22 years olds – and there haven’t been many NHL defencemen his age to exhibit the kind of offensive skill from the blue-line position in a long time. In fact, there haven’t been many recent NHL defenceman at any age to put up the sort offensive numbers that the young Ottawa Senator has checked in with last season. Nicklas Lidstrom recorded an 80-point season six years ago, and Mike Green put together back-to-back seasons in which he reached 73 and 76 points a few years ago. But even Lidstrom and Green didn’t run with the scoring lead among defenceman the way young Karlsson has done in his third NHL season. After his Norris Trophy winning season in 2011 – 2012, Erik and his representatives have been offered many terrific opportunities in the way of endorsements and product distribution. We are very excited to say that Erik has chosen T1M Sports Marketing to be the exclusive distributer of all Erik Karlsson signed sports memorabilia worldwide.
Alex Pietrangelowho’s nickname is Petro, was born January 18, 1990, and grew up residing in King City, Ontario. Currently Alex plays for the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League. As a junior, he played with the Niagara Ice Dogs and shortly for the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League. Pietrangelo has competed in with Team Canada at the junior and senior level, including a gold medal win with Canada’s under-20 team at the 2009 World Junior Championships. Individually, he has been named Best Defenceman at the 2010 World Junior Championship and 2011 Men’s World Championship. His father is the cousin of former NHL goaltender Frank Pietrangelo.
In 2010-11, Pietrangelo played his first full season with the Blues, leading all team defencemen with 43 points (11 goals and 32 assists) over 79 games. He also led team defencemen in plus/minus (+18), shots (161), while ranking third in average ice time per game. Due to his previous eight- and nine-game seasons in the NHL, he did not qualify as a rookie.Comparatively, the league’s leading scorer among rookie defencemen that season was teammate Kevin Shattenkirk, who was born a year earlier than Pietrangelo; he also recorded 43 points. At the end of the 2011-12 season, Pietrangelo was named to the NHL second all-star team.
After his successful minor hockey career, Pietrangelo was drafted 3rd overall by the Mississauga IceDogs in the first round of the 2006 OHL Priority Selection. He scored at a near point-per-game pace in his rookie season with the IceDogs with 52 points in 59 games, then moved with the team to Niagara as the franchise relocated in 2007.
In September 2007, he was named CHL Player of the Week after recording three goals and four assists in two games. In December 2007, TSN ranked Pietrangelo third overall among eligible skaters for the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.International Scouting Services described Pietrangelo as a “tremendous specimen in terms of size and skills” and ranked him fifth among North American draft prospects at mid-season, then sixth in their final rankings leading up to the draft. After finishing his second OHL season with 53 points in 60 games, he was selected fourth overall by the St. Louis Blues in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft on June 20, 2008.
Coming into training camp, the Blues signed him to an entry-level contract on September 4, 2008. Pietrangelo earned his way onto the team for opening night and played his first NHL game against the Nashville Predators on October 10, 2008. Three days later, however, he suffered a head injury on October 13, in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs when Ryan Hollweg checked him from behind into the boards. Pietrangelo returned shortly, and after playing eight games total for the Blues, he was sent back to his junior team, the Niagara IceDogs.On April 10, 2009, he was assigned to the Blues’ top minor-league affiliate, the PeoriaRivermen of the American Hockey League (AHL), after his junior season had ended.
Pietrangelo began the 2009-10 NHL season on the Blues’ roster for a second consecutive year, but played in only nine games by December 2009. After the Blues lended him to the Canadian under-20 team for the 2010 World Junior Championships, Pietrangelo was returned to the OHL. During the World Juniors, his OHL rights were traded from the IceDogs to the Barrie Colts. Playing half a season with Barrie, he recorded 29 points in 25 games, while adding 14 points in 17 playoff games. Due to his long playoff run with the Colts, he did not have the opportunity to play in the AHL as he did the previous season.
Pietrangelo played minor hockey in the Toronto area when he was growing up. He started to play hockey with the Richmond Hill Stars of the OMHA before playing three years with the Vaughan Kings of the GTHL. As a novice aged player (nine and under), Pietrangelo and his Toronto Pro Hockey Development teammates participated in the 2000 Brick Super Novice Tournament in Edmonton, Alberta. His teammates included Steven Stamkos, Philip McRae, and Michael Del Zotto. Toronto was defeated in the tournament final by the Vancouver Pacific Vipers, on a goal by Jordan Eberle. He was also a member of the All-Ontario Peewee AAA Champion Vaughan Kings in 2003. Pietrangelo played three years in the Toronto Junior Canadiens AAA system. The Toronto Junior Canadiens won Ontario’s bantam championship in 2005, with Pietrangelo scoring the game winning goal in the final against the Markham Waxers.