As strong as the Oilers were in Finland during the 1980’s, the club was very slow to draw talent from Sweden. In fact, the most successful Swedish Oil picks in team history (GP) are Magnus Paajarvi (309), Anton Lander (215) and Oscar Klefbom (182). All three men were chosen after 2008, meaning Edmonton was very slow to register Sweden on their draft map (Nick Lidstrom was chosen in 1989, Tomas Sandstrom 1982). In 1980, 106 spots after the Oilers drafted Jari Kurri, the Vancouver Canucks took Patrick Sundstrom. The Oilers don’t have a long history of success in Sweden, but it’s mostly because they only recently joined the race.
PLAYERS/PLAYERS FROM SWEDISH LEAGUES DRAFTED BY YEAR
- 2016 NHL draft—211 total players, 26 from Sweden
- 2015 NHL draft—211 total players, 18 from Sweden
- 2014 NHL draft—210 total players, 29 from Sweden
- 2013 NHL draft—211 total players, 26 from Sweden
- 2012 NHL draft–211 total players, 21 from Sweden
- 2011 NHL draft, 211 total players, 25 from Sweden
- 2010 NHL draft 210 total players, 21 from Sweden
- 2009 NHL draft, 211 total players, 22 from Sweden
- 2008 NHL draft, 211 total players, 19 from Sweden
- FINAL TALLY: 1,897 total players, 207 from SEL
- PERCENTAGE: 10.9%
PLAYERS/SWEDISH PLAYERS DRAFTED BY THE OILERS
- 2015 NHL draft—9 total players, 1 from Sweden
- 2015 NHL draft—6 total players, 0 from Sweden
- 2014 NHL draft—6 total players, 1 from Sweden
- 2013 NHL draft—10 total players, 0 from Sweden
- 2012 NHL draft–7 total players, 1 from Sweden
- 2011 NHL draft–9 total players, 1 from the Sweden
- 2010 NHL draft–11 total players, 1 from the Sweden
- 2009 NHL draft–7 total players, 2 from the Sweden
- 2008 NHL draft–5 total players, 0 from the Sweden
- FINAL TALLY: 70 total players, 7 from the Sweden
- PERCENTAGE: 10%
The Oilers have drafted 16 Swedish players this century, basically one a year like clockwork. Since 2008, that trend has them at NHL average in drafting from ABBA nation. The interesting thing? The high draft position for a few recent additions like Magnus Paajarvi and Oscar Klefbom. The Oilers are investing valuable gold and silver there.
SWEDISH PLAYERS SINCE 2008
- 2008—Johan Motin (1 NHL game)
- 2009—Magnus Paajarvi (301 NHL games), Anton Lander (215 NHL games)
- 2011—Oscar Klefbom (182 NHL games)
- 2012—Erik Gustafsson (41 NHL games)
- 2014—William Lagesson
- 2016—Filip Berglund
The Paajarvi pick looked very good early (he scored 15 as a rookie) but he’s still trying to find his way. I think he will be a productive NHL player for years. Combining speed and complementary scoring(12 goals per 82 games in NHL) with his defensive ability, MP has a lot to offer. The real jewel here is Oscar Klefbom, who has blossomed (77, 12-19-31) this season alongside Adam Larsson. Edmonton has done well with Sweden, should have shopped there sooner.
SWEDEN’S BEST, 2017
- L Elias Pettersson, Timra (Swe-1). Talented prospect with (probably) more room to grow as a player than anyone in this year’s draft.
- RD Timothy Liljegren, Rogle (Swe Jr). Mobile 2-way D, he will go top 5, ahead of Pettersson.
- LC Lias Andersson, Linkoping (SHL). Throwback 2-way C, aggressive, quick. 5.11, 200.
- L Kristian Vesalainen, Frolunda (SHL). Big W, skilled, strong, can play L or R.
- C Jesper Boqvist, Brynas (SHL). Average size, good speed and skill.
- LD Erik Brannstrom, HV71 (SHL). Undersized skill defender, outstanding skater.
- RC Joni Ikonen, Frolunda (SuperElite). Small skill center with good speed.
- R Lukas Elvenes, Rogle (SuperElite). Highly skilled winger, terrific hands.
- G Olle Eriksson Ek, Farjestads (SuperElite). Big G. 30gp, 2.16 .924.
- R Emil Bemstrom, Leksands (SuperElite). Small, fast winger with skill.
- L Rickard Hugg, Leksands (SuperElite). Intelligent two-way winger, playmaking skill.
- C Fabian Zetterlund, Farjestad (SuperElite). Smart C, great shot, he is skilled.
- RD Gustav Lindstrom, Almtuna IS (Allsvenskan). 6.02, 187 two-way defender.
- RD Filip Westerlund, Frolunda (SHL). Impressive passing skills, some chaos on D.
- LC Marcus Davidsson, Djurgardens (SHL). Two-way center has some offense, nice range of skills.
- W Jonas Rondberg, Vaxjo (Swe Jrs). Smart offensive winger with plus skills, lacks top end finish.
- G Adam Ahman, HV71 (SuperElite). 34gp, 2.30 .927. Small for modern goalie.
- RD August Berg, Brynas (SuperElite). Speedy defender with skill.
- L Filip Sveningsson, HV71 (SuperElite). Scoring winger, average size.
- L Tim Soderlund, Skelleftea (SHL). Small W with some offense, playing part time.
- R Jonathan Davidsson, Djurgaden (SHL). Impressive skill W, I’ve ranked him 3 times!
- R Philip Ekberg, Frolunda (SuperElite). 6.0, 190, has scored at all levels.
- C Kalle Miketinac, Frolunda (SuperElite). Skilled F, can impact offense at current level.
- R Marcus Sylvegard, Malmo (SuperElite). Scored 15, haven’t read a thing on him.
- L Oliwer Fjellstrom, Frolunda (SuperElite). Small skill winger.
- L Hugo Leufvenius, Linkoping (SuperElite). Huge F with some skill.
- C Filip Engaras, Skelleftea (SuperElite). Not much on him, but he’s scoring pretty well.
- LD Jonathan Asplund, Djurgardens (SuperElite). Big two-way defender.
- LD Hugo Danielsson, Skelleftea (SuperElite). Defense first blue with size.
- G Arvid Soderblom, Frolunda (SuperElite). 29gp, 2.48 .905.
- LD Sebastian Walfridsson, Modo (SuperElite). Good defensive prospect.
- LD Henrik Malmstrom, Linkoping (SuperElite). Giant defensive defenseman.
OILERS DRAFT PICKS 2017
- First Round: No. 23 overall
- Third Round: No. 82 overall (FROM ST. LOUIS—this is payment for Nail Yakupov)
- Third Round: No. 85 overall
- Fourth Round: No. 116 overall
- Fifth Round: No. 128 overall (FROM Vancouver—this is payment for Phil Larsen)
- Fifth Round: No. 147 overall
- Sixth Round: No. 178 overall
- Seventh Round: No. 209 overall
OILERS NEEDS BASED ON CURRENT DEPTH CHART
- Left Wing: The Oilers have veteran LW’s (Patrick Maroon, Milan Lucic, Benoit Pouliot) at the NHL level, and names like Drake Caggiula and Jujhar Khaira currently in utility roles with the big team. The group bubbling under includes Tyler Benson and not much. Benson is a bit of a question mark due to injury.
- Right Wing: Jesse Puljujarvi was a big get from last year’s draft, but this position needs more help at the draft in June. Anton Slepyshev could be a Godsend if he can grab a job on one of the skill lines and keep it. Somewhat unclear how vulnerable the Oilers are at the position
- Right Defense: Aggressive procurement of Matt Benning, Ethan Bear and Ryan Mantha make this position a little stronger from what we were looking at this time next season. More needed, but the club is getting there.
- Goal: Laurent Brossoit is in the NHL now, with Nick Ellis trending very well in his first year pro. Dylan Wells has been an excellent draft bet so far.
- Left Defense: At the big league level, the Oilers have youngsters Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse. Caleb Jones and or Ziyat Paigin could be pushing soon. Edmonton can afford to pass on a LHD unless the value is extreme.
- Center: If you include Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, this is one of the deepest positions in the entire NHL.
OILERS TARGETS BASED ON THEIR OWN PAST
- Kristian Vesalainen, Hugo Leufvenius
MY PREFERRED TARGETS
- Elias Pettersson, Lias Andersson, Jesper Boqvist, Gustav Lindstrom