Erik Karlsson should be considered among the best offensive defensemen in the NHL over the last decade, if not longer. The super-skilled Swede offered up another exhibit of his elite offensive game when he delivered one of the assists of the year on Zack Smith's second-period goal against the Montreal Canadiens. It probably was, at the very least, the longest.
From below the faceoff circles in his own zone, a tired-looking Karlsson saw Smith streaking towards the Montreal blue line. Karlsson sent a saucer pass from his own end right to Smith's tape.
Look at that thing. Beautiful.
Karlsson, who looked absolutely gassed, was the last man to make the long trip down the ice for his celebration. He now has 43 assists on the year to go along with 17 goals for a staggering 60 points in 65 games from the blue line.