RE 16-17 OSCAR KLEFBOM: TRUE LOVE WAITS

As crazy as it sounds, Oscar Klebom represents the rarest of gems in Oilers’ draft history: He is a defenseman with the complete range of skills. He can be deployed in any situation and is productive in the heart of the game. He is 23 and the future is very bright. (True Love Waits)

OSCAR KLEFBOM 2016-17

  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.85 (2nd among regular defensemen)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 4.35 (1st among regular defensemen)
  • Corsi for 5×5 %: 50.4
  • Corsi Rel 5×5 %: +0.2
  • DFF Elite 5×5 %: 48.0
  • DFF Elite Rel 5×5 %: +0.1 (34 percent of TOI v. elites)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 201 shots/6.0%
  • Boxcars: 82, 12-26-38
  • (All numbers via Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com and hockey-reference)
  • Special thanks to GMoney and Woodguy for sharing the DFF’s

REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS

  • RE 16-17: 55, 5-16-21 (0.381)
  • Actual 16-17: 82, 12-26-38 (0.463)
  • Source
  1. Oscar! Yeah. Pretty cool to see the organization draft and develop a player with this much range. Very rare.
  2. How rare? Well, since 1979-80 the Oilers have enjoyed the services of several complete defenders, notably Chris Pronger that one time. However, of the men drafted there are very few who delivered in all disciplines effectively.
  3. And? Klefbom played in all three disciplines this season and showed well. He emerged as a top pairing option and he should have many years to grow into this role and flourish. A major positive for the procurement department and for the coaches in the system.
  4. What about points? Klefbom’s 38 points ranks him No. 36 all-time among Oilers blue, in the range with Kevin Lowe’s 1987-88 and names like Randy Gregg, Tom Poti and others. Considering the difference in scoring over the decades, Oscar’s boxcars are quality. His 21 even-strength points ranks him No. 8 among Oilers blue this century, and his 16 power-play points also rank him No. 8 since 2000 among defenders.
  5. What were the main factors of his success this year? Health is the number one reason and I do think Adam Larsson gets some credit for helping to build an effective top pairing. The two Swedes complement each other.
  6. What were his injuries again last year? Finger, lace bite, staph infection, eye of newt. Real weird stuff.
  7. How important is Klefbom to this team? Massive. A monster. You can see it now with the Sekera injury. That’s a bitter pill, but the Oilers have some quality at LHD, beginning with Oscar. He can play in all roles and may see increased playing time because of the injury.
  8. Who did he play well with? Pretty much 50 percent with everyone. Good season. Perhaps most impressive is that he was 50 percent in possession without Connor McDavid. That’s the lead story on the six o’clock news.
  9. You’re pumped about his season. Perhaps I haven’t impressed upon you the uniqueness of the situation. Edmonton rarely drafts a defenseman in the top 20 overall (Alex Plante, Klefbom and Darnell Nurse this century) and when they do it doesn’t usually work out very well. Klefbom is tracking as a brilliant No. 19 overall. After a generation of Jason Soules and Nick Stadjuhar and Francois Leroux and Matthieu Descoteaux and Jim Playfair, this is manna from heaven.
  10. What did he do well? Klefbom’s 201 shots on goal ranks behind only Sheldon Souray among defensemen who have played for the team since 2000.
  11. Does he have another gear? I think he may, again across several areas of the game. His power-play ability blossomed this season, perhaps he can get that cannon firing more often in the coming season. He can lug the puck up ice successfully and pass well. Fantastic player.
  12. Who does he remind you of?  I do not recall the last Oilers defensive prospect with this kind of range. He covers the entire spectrum, and his mobility is terrific. He can move left and right quickly, skates well in any direction, is a rugged player who can battle and has no fear.
  13. Who does he remind you of? There is a way about him physically that reminds me of Serge Savard. He skates hunched over a little, like Savard, and controls the pace of the game, as did Savard before injuries robbed him of speed. Savard had a big shot too, back in the day.
  14. So he’s Savard? In style they are similar, unfair to put that on this player. He is a gigantic talent though, I believe that to be true.
  15. Music? Music.
  16. Who are his comparables? Offensively, Seth Jones, Jacob Trouba, Morgan Rielly.
  17. Good neighborhood. Yes, and I think he could move up that list if the power-play opportunity continues. Oscar Klefbom is already solving a bunch of problems. If he can add that? Hello.
  18. Dreamy! He really is a Godsend. I think developing defensemen is something teams absolutely have to do and the Oilers are improving in this area recently. Oscar is the outer marker, possibly throughout the McDavid years.
  19. How good are Klefbom and Larsson as a pairing? The pairing ranked No. 29 among NHL pairings in Corsi for 5×5 (this is Corsica.Hockey) among pairings who have played 450 minutes. They are No. 21 among pairings in Fenwick (this is all 5×5).
  20. Is that good? Well, both duos played against the toughest opposition and that’s another factor under consideration. Using Fenwick only, Klefbom-Larsson were 51.36 Fenwick and the other pairing (Sekera-Russell) were 48.48 Fenwick.
  21. Who played most against the elites? Woodmoney tells us Klefbom spent 480 minutes (34 percent) of his time against elites, Sekera spent 459 minutes (35 percent) of his time against the gold standard.
  22. So we take away that the Swedes are better? Yes. Both pairings facing elites about the same amount of time, Klefbom-Larsson owning 51 Fenwick and Sekera-Russell 48 percent.
  23. What about Vlasic-Braun? Different animal. The Woodmoney (by the way, G and WG and that group are going to slay public metrics when they open the box) tells us that pairing spends 48 percent of their time against elites (lordy). Their Fenwick number is 47.97 and I think we should consider this duo the class of this division.
  24. Why this song? It’s a dream, just like Oscar.
  25. Is this your most positive RE? The most flowery since they traded Marc Pouliot.

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34 Responses to "RE 16-17 OSCAR KLEFBOM: TRUE LOVE WAITS"

  1. StixMalone says:

    In the words of Annie Lennox

    “Sweet dreams are made of these”

  2. Brantford Boy says:

    I remember hoping and praying that the Oilers would take Klefbom 19th at the draft… glad it worked out… still believe there is more to come from this Swede. The only other defenseman that I salivated over the past decade were Nurse and Murray, 2 out of 3 isn’t bad… maybe I should have taken a vote 🙂

  3. Doug McLachlan says:

    What a fantastic player!

    Nice return for Dustin Penner, no?

    Defensemen who were taken ahead of Klefbom (19) in that 2011 Draft:

    Adam Larsson (4) by NJ
    Dougie Hamilton (9) by BOS
    Jonas Brodin (10) by MIN
    Duncan Seimens (11) by COL
    Ryan Murphy (12) by CAR
    Jamie Oleksiak (14) by DAL
    Nathan Beaulieu (17) by MTL

    I think he fares well in that group.

    Curious to see how many of these picks will be exposed to Vegas: Oleksiak, Brodin? Wonder what the acquisition price would be?

  4. Bag of Pucks says:

    KBom! Love this player for two reasons.

    1) Complete range of skills
    2) I can bring him up every time someone claims you should never draft a Dman in the first round.

    Fun fact: Oscar weighs the same and is two inches taller than Scott Stevens was in his prime. These D nowadays are big!

  5. Lowetide says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    KBom! Love this player for two reasons.

    1) Complete range of skills
    2) I can bring him up every time someone claims you should never draft a Dman in the first round.

    Fun fact: Oscar weighs the same and is two inches taller than Scott Stevens was in his prime. These D nowadays are big!

    Everyone in my house worries about him. Amazing.

  6. leadfarmer says:

    Woodmoney not done yet? Are they getting paid per hour 🙂

  7. Professor Q says:

    While Stone should have been called for slewfooting earlier in the play, Ottawa is just all over the place.

    3-0 now; Brassard scored.

    Make that 4-0.

  8. leadfarmer says:

    Sens just dominating Pens. Wow

    Oh yeah and tell Woodguy he keeps underrating these Sens

  9. jake70 says:

    6 more seasons at 4.1M cap. If he just does what he did this year and stays healthy, might turn out to be one of the best value contracts in NHL over the next few years.

  10. leadfarmer says:

    Professor Q:
    While Stone should have been called for slewfooting earlier in the play, Ottawa is just all over the place.

    3-0 now; Brassard scored.

    Make that 4-0.

    Le Chiffre has got them playing great

  11. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Great post LT! LT says: “They are No. 21 among pairings in Fenwick ”

    – For the first time in forever, we have a bona-fide top-paring D. You have to believe that next year they can move up (assuming they play together again).

    – I figure all-in they are top-21 LHD and RHD, individually.

    – As for Pittsburg: decimated with injuries. There really was a window for the Oil this year….

  12. JDI says:

    leadfarmer:
    Woodmoney not done yet?Are they getting paid per hour

    I think the construction of the Museum of Science and Trucking suffered fewer delays and cost overruns.

  13. Evilas says:

    I guess I’ll throw this out there.

    I was thinking about all the goalie interference in the play-offs, so what to do about this?

    What if there is a new line/arc 1 foot from the blue paint serving as a buffer, so no player could enter this area, unless they were in possession of the puck. In the event of rebounds, it would be fair to enter, but implement a 3 second rule when the puck has left the crease, where players have to leave this area. If a player is in this area when a puck is shot toward the net the whistle blows and the face-off is outside the zone. A second violation by the same player and it’s a 10 minute misconduct.

    From my sporadic viewings of the most recent events, this would eliminate a lot of the net chaos. I also really hate that a player can stand right in front of a goalie, might as well just stick your glove in front of his face, it the same thing really. There is a reason screening is a penalty in football, give a player a chance to make the play and force teams to get more creative with deflections and passing, etc.

    These were just particles of thoughts floating around my brain, so perhaps someone could refine it or outright dismiss it and that is okay, just thought I would put it out there, as I haven’t heard or seen any such suggestion anywhere.

    Does anyone know if such an idea has been floated before?

  14. Caller Zen says:

    Professor Q:
    While Stone should have been called for slewfooting earlier in the play, Ottawa is just all over the place.

    3-0 now; Brassard scored.

    Make that 4-0.

    As much as I don’t want the Ducks to get to the SCF, it would be something to see a rematch between Ottawa and Anaheim, 10 years later. Hopefully the result is different and Ottawa prevails!

  15. --hudson-- says:

    Klefs goal in the dying minutes of game 5 vs SJ may be the highlight of the season for me
    https://streamable.com/4fxqe

    Great player, great contract and he’s just getting started.

  16. Thinker says:

    I’m more interested in the nba right now. Two undefeated teams might meet in the finals.

  17. Evilas says:

    JDI,

    I had forgotten about that era, those were kind of like the dark ages, at least to me anyway, and that call, er non-call was probably the worst ever in the history of the league.

    I can see GMs revisiting some form of crease changes. I was thinking along the lines of an NBA-esque “no charging” arc.

    Anyway, thanks for the reminder JDI! I guess I have a few repressed memories.

  18. jtblack says:

    Klefbom has 6 more left @ $4.1. His D partner, Larsson has 4 more left @ $4.1. Given the stats by LT; this equates to phenomenal value. In a Cap world, this is pure Gold ..

    Klefbom is a gem. Part of the reason we have a legit D now and part of the reason we will compete for Lord Stanley, a big part.

  19. godot10 says:

    Thinker:
    I’m more interested in the nba right now. Two undefeated teams might meet in the finals.

    Only undefeated because one team is allowed to get away with thuggery. And there is a different rulebook for Lebron.

  20. jtblack says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Every time someone claims you should never draft a D Man in the 1st round, just walk away. If a hockey person believes that, they probably have a few other slanted views on the game.

    I would say ONLY draft D & C in the 1st round. Wingers and Goalies can come later … Oilers went winger centric at the Draft with Puujarvi, Hall, Eberle & Yakupov. 3 of the 4 are gone. Possibly all 4. This is not the players fault, but \I believe the game has shifted where the least impactful position is the Wing.

    Center and Defense impact the game the most. Be interesting to see what the Oilers do at the draft this year.

    Glad we have Oscar. And Larsson. And Nurse. All young. All on the upswing. And yes, Klef definitely has the most range.

  21. godot10 says:

    jtblack:
    Klefbom has 6 more left @ $4.1.His D partner, Larsson has 4 more left @ $4.1.Given the stats by LT; this equates to phenomenal value.In a Cap world, this is pure Gold ..

    Easily nullified by 4 x $4 million for Russell.

    Trade Nugent-Hopkins for Faulk or Dumba (modulo stuff) and sign Streit for one year as a stop gap till Sekera gets back.

  22. Scungilli Slushy says:
  23. Scungilli Slushy says:

    godot10: Easily nullified by 4 x $4 million for Russell.

    Trade Nugent-Hopkins for Faulk or Dumba (modulo stuff) and sign Streit for one year as a stop gap till Sekera gets back.

    Assuming everybody else wants to do that. But not a bad idea. Even though I prefer standard size players. I’m not sure success transfers between teams well when shelter isn’t available. The Oilers need step in solutions now. I’m also down on Vatanen because of the same issue. If teams strong on D pick that player to trade, risky.

  24. VOR says:

    I’d like to try to tie tonight’s thread to this morning’s. They share something in common. Gerry McNamara.

    Before I criticize or congratulate any GM I like to ask myself, “is he Gerry McNamara?” By which I mean just how difficult is that GMs job?

    Gerry McNamara, long time GM of the Maple Leafs, looked incompetent for years. Now we know he pretty consistently had the right idea. But he got overruled again and again by his boss, Harold Ballard.

    For example, McNamara is easily among the top five drafting GMs of all time. His record is actually startlingly good. One year he drafted six actual NHL players in six picks. But the Leafs hired coaches who made those players want to turn into ax murderers and TO pissed it all away.

    The best story of that time, filled with pathos and a vicious twist in the tale is the story of the signing of John Brophy as Coach of the Leafs. McNamara had scouted extensively and found what he thought was a great candidate, a total unknown who at the time was coaching Providence College. The kid, as McNamara likes to refer to him was whip smart, a great communicator, and a superb strategist.

    McNamara knew Ballard wanted Brophy and asked for time to check out what the players in the AHL, where Brophy was coaching thought of him. We now know the answer to that, they thought Brophy was as close to human excrement as anyone they had ever met. But McNamara never got a chance to find that out and to make a case for his guy. He was at a game in Boston when the press came up to him asking where they could find Brophy, that’s how Gerry McNamara, the GM of the Leafs found out that John Brophy was the new coach of the Maple Leafs.

    The twist in the tale is simply this, Gerry McNamara has lived long enough to see that unknown coach he wanted so badly all those years ago get his old job as GM of the Leafs. You got it. That unknown coach of Providence College was Lou Lamoriello. So McNamara had the right man but got to look like a dolt as Brophy ruined a number of great players.

    So when I ask myself whether a GM is a Gerry McNamara what I really want to know is how much crap did the GM have to overcome in order to do their job. I am guessing in Peter Chiarelli’s quite a bit. Which makes his success even more exceptional.

    So it is easy enough to see what Gerry McNamara might have to do with this morning’s thread but what does he have to do with Dreamy Oscar. And the answer is that every Oilers’ fan owes Gerry McNamara a gigantic debt. And it all has to do with a bloody Christmas holiday and a week long bad mood.

    Gerry McNamara was a drafting savant as I said above. He started as a scout and is a legendary one at that. He is most famous for the events of Christmas 1972. Presciently, he was in Sweden that Christmas.

    Gerry was sure Europe was the next great undiscovered source of NHL players and that Sweden would be a hot bed of NHL level players for decades to come. You’ve got to put this in context, there were already some Swedes playing in the NHL but there were legions of fans, coaches, and talking heads who couldn’t say Swede without conjugating it with the term (excuse my language) chicken-shit. McNamara didn’t share this sentiment but knew that enough people did that value for money might well be found in Sweden. He says himself he had no idea that he was in the midst of changing hockey forever.

    While in Sweden that Christmas he took in a game between the Barrie Flyers seniors team and the Brynas club team. It was, Gerry says, the roughest, dirtiest, bloodiest hockey game he has ever seen, and Brynas won. He made contract offers to a couple of Brynas’ players that night and stuck around to watch their next few games.

    Over the course of the next week McNamara began to believe that he might be “seeing the one”. As McNamara has explained it, he thought that eventually a Swede would come along who was a direct descendant, at least spiritually, of the Vikings that once roamed the world unopposed. And that all the chicken-shit slurs would be forgotten and the flood gates would open and there would be Swedes everywhere in the NHL. A week of watching this lanky Samu warrior play defence for Brynas was enough to convince McNamara he had found the one.

    Years later in an interview on CBC TV Borje Salming was asked about the Christmas of 1972. He turned, stared into the TV camera with that icy stare. Then he said, totally dead pan, “I think I was in a bad mood that week.”

    For those of you who don’t know the story eventually the moment came when, again on TV, the incredibly tough Salming made Don Cherry swallow the term chicken-shit Swede forever. And, as Gerry McNamara foresaw the flood gates truly opened.

    Klefbom and Larsson are children of the diaspora Gerry McNamara unleashed that winter so long ago when he signed unknowns Inge Hammerstrom and Borje Salming. Little side note, later that spring he tried to come to terms with two more Swedes, kids named Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson. He thought Nilsson was too slow and let him slip away and Hedberg they were too aggressive in trying to sign and scared him off. Toronto could have been one of the greatest hockey teams of all time because Gerry McNamara thought Swede’s rocked, and he was right and he was first. (If you aren’t an old timey hockey fan get somebody to tell you about Hedberg and Nilsson.)

    So next time you raise a glass to Oscar Klefbom raise one to Gerry McNamara and Borje Salming as well. Because without them there would be no Oscar or Adam or Nick or Peter.

  25. Pescador says:

    godot10: Easily nullified by 4 x $4 million for Russell.

    Trade Nugent-Hopkins for Faulk or Dumba (modulo stuff) and sign Streit for one year as a stop gap till Sekera gets back.

    I like the idea of acquiring a top 4 RHD. I hate the idea of trading RNH to do it.
    I love Eberle & that was a rough run in the playoffs for him.
    I would rather trade EBs plus a young LHD to do it.

  26. Lloyd B. says:

    VOR,

    Great story VOR. The only game I saw at the Maple Leaf Garden was the night of Salmings retirement.

    Bought tickets from the stereotypical scalper in front of the Garden. He opened his jacket and had tickets in a multitude of pockets. Small town Alberta boy meets the BIG CITY: !!

    He had tix at all price ranges. Couldn’t afford any of them except the $15 dollar standing room tickets. They were directly behind the leafs net for two periods.

    Little did I know that those tickets were only 15 rows above the ice. ( If memory serves). The rows of seats at the Garden were incredibly steep. Way closer than 15 rows up at Rexall. Incredible.

    During the first period the wife notices some empty seats about seven rows up from the ice to our right. She said during the intermission, lets go scalp those seats! I couldn’t believe she was up to such antics.

    Access to that area was guarded as well as the old club seats at Rexall. No way you are getting through the gauntlet. But we did. Incredible experience.

    Salming took incredible abuse as a player. His face has the battle scars to prove it. Can only imagine the damage his body took.

    Cherry absolutely hated the Euro invasion and publicly spewed all over Salming and Hammerstrom. I always believed he secretly held a great admiration for them both.

    Particularly Salming. He was everything and more that Cherry appreciates as a hockey player.

  27. digger50 says:

    VOR,

    Absolutely great story, I had no idea.

  28. anjinsan says:

    You forgot toe of frog, wool of bat, and tongue of dog — all of witch means he was snake bit, by gum.

  29. Lowetide says:

    VOR: Loved that story. Thanks for sharing it!

  30. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    VOR,

    – Great Post LT! Great Post Vor!

    – VOR your story reminded of the those Leafs from the early 80’s gong show with Ballard: as a little kid, I have fond memories of my Mom, glass of wine in one hand, cigarette in the other, and her and her friedns screaming at the Television during that epic series against the NYI’s in the late 70’s where they won. On the power-play she’s yelling: “shoot the puck, SHOOT IT!”. They won that series, when the Isles were just emerging as the next best team.

    – She loved loved Lanny McDonald. When he got traded a year later (dont’ think McNamara was GM at that point, was it Punch Imlach the GM?), Darryl Sittler ripping of his C in protest, and that was it for my Mom.

    – For me the Oil emerged and we were living North of 60, and the rest is history.

    – My Mom though, she just stopped caring about the Leafs after that trade. Much like I’m sure some stopped caring after hall was traded…

    – I believe McNamara also wanted to hire a young Pat Quinn as well. Lord Brophy!

  31. Pouzar says:

    RIP Cornell.

    This one hurts.

  32. russ99 says:

    Oscar did not do well in our zone when the opposition had the puck in the regular season, especially one-on-one and away from the wall, but stepped it up in the playoffs, which is encouraging.

    He had the lowest opponent save percentage against of the defense corps at 91.57% Sekera led at 93.87 with Russell just behind. He was third worst in HDSCA/60, just behind Larsson, who had tougher assignments, and well behind Nurse.

    He’s an elite player when we have the puck, hope he continues to improve when we don’t.

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