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Senators trade up to select Karlsson with 15th pick at NHL draft

OTTAWA - The Ottawa Senators did a little dealing to land their man at the NHL draft.

The Senators moved up three spots to the No. 15 spot, and used it to select defenceman Erik Karlsson from Sweden. Ottawa swapped first-round picks with the Nashville Predators to get Karlsson, sending the 18th overall pick plus a third-round pick in 2009 back to Nashville.

The full house at Scotiabank Place roared when Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson stepped to the podium and selected his countryman.

"To be picked by the Senators when the draft is in Ottawa is amazing and to hear your name be called out by Alfredsson is a nice feeling and I will remember it for the rest of my life," said Karlsson.

"Hopefully I will make the citizens of Ottawa happy," added Karlsson who, at five-foot-11 and 165 pounds, will certainly need to put on some weight and muscle before making the move to the NHL.

"He just needs some time and to put some muscles on his skinny body," said Senators European scout Vaclav Bunda.

"He's extremely smart and he's a two way defenceman who is going to run the power play in the near future."

Karlsson led Team Sweden at the 2008 Under-18 IIHF World Championship with seven assists in six games. He was named the tournament's best defenceman.

"Vaclav and our other scouts had followed him in great detail and thought very highly of him and when I had a chance to move up and make sure we got him, it certainly appeared to be worthwhile," said Senators general manager Bryan Murray.

Karlsson had 13 goals and 37 points in 38 games with Frolunda Junior, with whom he won a SuperElite Championship in 2007-08. He also played seven games with Frolunda where he had one goal.

The Senators also announced yesterday that they had reached an agreement on a new US$8.5-million, four-year deal with unrestricted free agent Chris Kelly.

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