Leo Carlsson, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, did not have to wait long to enjoy celebrating the milestone of his first career goal. In his first game with the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night, Carlsson lit the lamp in the team’s 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars.
Taken right behind Connor Bedard in this year’s NHL Draft, Carlsson faces high expectations as a rookie but he didn’t seem fazed in his first appearance with the Ducks. Just over 1 minute into the third period, Carlsson got a two-on-one with teammate Troy Terry, and he took advantage of the excellent scoring chance.
At just 18 years old, Carlsson became the third-youngest Duck to score his first NHL goal. The only two younger than Carlsson were Oleg Tverdovsky and Carlsson’s current teammate Mason McTavish.
Ducks coach Greg Cronin wasted no time slotting Carlsson in at the top of the lineup, and it paid off in a big way. Carlsson rode shotgun alongside Terry and Trevor Zegras, and the trio were excellent together. According to Natural Stat Trick, that line outscored the Stars 2-0 at five-on-five and it controlled 69.2% of the expected goals.