The Edmonton Oilers have signed Oscar Klefbom to a seven-year deal at what is being reported at $4.167 million per season—the Jonas Brodin deal looks like it might have been the model. Brodin’s six-year, $4.1 million dollar contract was signed in October of 2014—at a point when the young Minnesota defenseman had played 126 games at the time of the deal, Klefbom has just 77 under his belt as he cashes.
AAV on Oscar Klefbom deal will be $4.167 million. @TSNRyanRishaug first reported 7-year deal.
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) September 19, 2015
The lack of NHL experience is a concern but the price point and number of free-agent seasons purchased gives this a little extra appeal. Klefbom led the Oilers in EV time-on-ice, 19:47, as a rookie, also had 1:44 SH and 27 seconds on the power play. He played nine games in OKC in 2014-15, we’ll call sending him out stupid is as stupid does.
Klefbom’s role last season was to play with chaos blue Justin Schultz—while getting a zone start push—and those two things turned Schultz into a positive in possession. In Justin Schultz’ three NHL seasons, his primary partner had a Corsi 5×5 For % of 45.4 (Nick Schultz, 12-13), 42.1 (Andrew Ference 13-14) and 51.4% (Oscar Klefbom, 14-15) when on the ice with him. I think Klefbom might want to buy Tyler Dellow a beer today, but that’s a guess and maybe Dallas Eakins figured it out without Dellow.
The money is dear—I’m not sure how much offensive value he brings—but the FA seasons purchased make this a deal I think we can be reasonably satisfied with in terms of cap weight. The Oilogosphere often differs in opinions on these things, I think the main worries are injury (Oscar had some concussion issues in the past) and range of skills (he may not hit 30 points in an NHL season). A bridge deal for two years may have made the next deal far more expensive—and as Jeff Petry’s experience shows perhaps locking these young men up miles from freedom is the right play for a struggling Oilers organization.