RE 17-18 OSCAR KLEFBOM: BEST OF YOU

I watch every draft and remember the words, but only the important ones. Steve Tambellini announced the Klefbom pick, Gord Miller said “there’s the defenseman”, Pierre Mcguire said “well they needed defense and now they get one” and the screen cap compared him to big man Douglas Murray (he is NOT a Douglas Murray). Bob McKenzie then delivered the scouting report: “Klefbom plays a very physical game, he rushes the puck up the ice, he likes to join the attack. He makes a lot of mistakes, he can be headstrong, he’s a raw talent who has the potential to be a punishing defensive player, but also a guy who can put the puck in the net and generate offense from the blue line.” Source (Best of You)

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 Puck IQStats.HockeyAnalysis.com and hockey-reference)

RE 17-18: 77GP, 15-29-44 (.571)

  1. You have Oscar stepping up! Yes, I think there are several things in play that lead to his scoring more than one year ago. I’ve projected six more points and it remains reasonable in my opinion. Good arrows in a few areas.
  2. Like? The Sekera injury should mean more playing time, including power play. Plus Oscar has good arrows like nine first assists at 5×5 (here), tied for No. 22 among all NHL defensemen. Sekera beat him by one, going to miss that guy.
  3. Anything else? His 162 shots at 5×5 rank No. 4 overall, Klef had 201 shots overall. That is a very productive defenseman.
  4. What about power play shots? Just 31 in 207 minutes, ranking No. 41 league wide.  That’s nine shots per 60 minutes 5×4. I think he’ll play more 5×4 and the power-play numbers will increase.
  5. How much more will he play? I have Klefbom-Larsson approaching 25 minutes a night, with Oscar adding about one minute at evens and 90 seconds on special teams.
  6. Is he a top pairing NHL player? You’d want to see his production continue for three seasons at last year’s level, and play closer to 25 minutes. The things we associate with a top pairing defenseman are there offensively, he finished No. 32 in total points by a defender and No. 13 in goals during 2016-17.
  7. What about defensively? I think he needs to improve in this area to be considered a bona fide top pairing defenseman. That’s just an opinion, others may have a clearer view.
  8. Is Larsson the best partner he’s had? Klef played with Justin Schultz, Mark Fayne and Justin Schultz before Larsson.
  9. Is Larsson the best partner he’s had? I think so, the best fit because Larsson can play the defensive role for the mistakes and headstrong moments. It’s a great match.
  10. 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.
  11. What was his most impressive stat last year?  Perhaps most impressive is that he was 50 percent in possession without Connor McDavid. That’s something else.
  12. How many Oilers draft picks have been spent on defenders of this calibre? 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. That 2011 draft was a good one, needed to sign Rieder.
  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. Who are his comparables? Offensively, Seth Jones, Hampus Lindholm, Jacob Trouba, Morgan Rielly. Great damned list.
  15. How good are Klefbom and Larsson as a pairing? The pairing ranked No. 29 among NHL pairings in Corsi for 5×5 (this was Corsica.Hockey) among pairings who have played 450 minutes. They are No. 21 among pairings in Fenwick (this is all 5×5).
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. You like Klefbom? He’s just so good.
  20. And rare? I think that’s what many people don’t get about him. Oscar Klefbom was drafted by the Oilers, spent time in the minors and is emerging as a bona fide NHL defenseman with range. It is perhaps the most rare item in Oilers history, more rare than “elite forwards who dominate their generation” and I’m only partly kidding.
  21. Why this song? I like it for Oscar as a song of determination, about not giving in. He had some real injury issues early and then 2015-16 was basically Gray’s Anatomy.
  22. Can we talk about something else? Sure.
  23. How do the Oilers offload a defenseman when the kids are ready? I don’t see a problem beyond cap, if you’re talking cap I agree.
  24. Oilers have Klefbom-Larsson, Sekera-Russell, Nurse-Benning. No room! Sad! The Oilers don’t need room this season or in 2018-19. They need room summer 2019. At that point, Sekera has to list 15 teams he can be traded to, Kris Russell 10 teams, same summer.
  25. You don’t think the kids will be ready by then? That’s the play from the Oilers point of view. Has to be. You sign Russell only if you believe two years development are required. If (say) Paigin develops quickly, or Jones, or Bear, or Mantha, the club could send Eric Gryba down. That’s not painful at all.
  26. Anything that could upset the plan? Yohann Auvitu. He might become too valuable to cut loose and then there’s a decision to be made.
  27. This feels weird. It’s called balance and depth. It’s been awhile.

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26 Responses to "RE 17-18 OSCAR KLEFBOM: BEST OF YOU"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    Its so much nicer talking about how good this player might be as opposed to talking about him not being able to stay healthy. Lets hope we get another full season out of Oscar!

    It was obvious to me that Oscar was making a point of shooting the puck more in the 2nd half of the season last year – lets hope he keeps that up.

    I know moving Letestu to PP1 coincided with the spike in production but I’d posit that replacing Reggie with Klef on PP1 had a similar effect – I look forward to Oscar’s boxcars with a full year on PP1.

  2. jtblack says:

    ” It’s called balance and depth. It’s been awhile” – You can say that again … PC had the cupboards stocked when he arrived, but he has also done well to build the D Depth ….

    Is is safe to say outside of 97, Klef is your favorite?

    To get a D man of his caliber at #19 is a virtual steal …. If the draft is done over now, he’s a top 10 pick for sure … Some Good D men that year ..

    If he hits your RE, safe to say he is truly an elite Defenseman. I can handle 25 mins a night from him and Larsson!

    Great stuff as always LT

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    The kids – yes, the kids might be coming but, out of Jones, Bear, Paigan and Mantha, there is no guarantee of an NHL player there.

    I think we can reasonably hope for one every day NHL player and a tweener but I think we really need to temper the time expectations.

    I’ve read articles, blogs, posts, etc. re: Bear and Jones playing in the NHL this year. Aside from the “NHLers”, we have Fayne, Simpson, Stanton, Auvitu to make sure that we allow the kids to develop.

    Let the kids marinate and we will be rewarded in time.

  4. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    The kids – yes, the kids might be coming but, out of Jones, Bear, Paigan and Mantha, there is no guarantee of an NHL player there.

    I think we can reasonably hope for one every day NHL player and a tweener but I think we really need to temper the time expectations.

    I’ve read articles, blogs, posts, etc. re: Bear and Jones playing in the NHL this year. Aside from the “NHLers”, we have Fayne, Simpson, Stanton, Auvitu to make sure that we allow the kids to develop.

    Let the kids marinate and we will be rewarded in time.

    Yes. I think the Russell signing cut off all four and really made the battle between about five guys for 7D (6 and 7D until Sekera returns.

  5. Munny says:

    Lol… who doesn’t like a strong head?!

  6. russ99 says:

    I really hope Oscar can up his defensive game while still maintaining offense this year.

    He had some bad games, bad moments in our zone last year.

    Would Sekera out, we’ll need to rely on the top pair more, with more minutes, and tougher assignments, so a backslide would be problematic.

  7. MacT's Neglected Helmet says:

    We haven’t had a homegrown dman this good since that last one we ran out of town for also not being “physical” and “gritty” enough.

  8. Rondo says:

    Oilers got lucky with Chicago taking Mark McNeil at #18 in 2011. Klefbom wouldn’t of been an Oiler.

  9. wchay says:

    I think the data you are quoting LT is both of two things:

    1. Great insight and we love those who collect and publish it.
    2. Needs context.

    A simple example: the Fenwick rate of the Swedes vs elites compared to Sekera/Russell is insufficient without some context on who they were out there with. For example (making this up completely) if the Swedes posted their rate with a disproportionately high rate of Letestu and co vs elites, then the result is truly meaningful. But if they got a heavier dose of Connor and Sekera posted his with Nuge… that’s a factor. Here’s hoping someone can provide the answer…

    Note: this analytics point does not change the fact that I too love Klef.

  10. Colieo87 says:

    Hey everybody its been a longtime since i commented. Hi LT heres a song for head strong Kelfbomb. “Headstrong” by Trapt.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTvu1Yr3Ohk

  11. Lowetide says:

    wchay:
    I think the data you are quoting LT is both of two things:

    1. Great insight and we love those who collect and publish it.
    2. Needs context.

    A simple example: the Fenwick rate of the Swedes vs elites compared to Sekera/Russell is insufficient without some context on who they were out there with. For example (making this up completely) if the Swedes posted their rate with a disproportionately high rate of Letestu and co vs elites, then the result is truly meaningful. But if they got a heavier dose of Connor and Sekera posted his with Nuge… that’s a factor.Here’s hoping someone can provide the answer…

    Note: this analytics point does not change the fact that I too love Klef.

    As I mentioned in the post, both top pairings played against tough opposition and both pairings played a lot with both Nuge and McDavid. I think we’re very safe in saying these numbers do have meaning as comparisons because of usage.

  12. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    He’s dreamy.

  13. JDî says:

    Munny:
    Lol… who doesn’t like a strong head?!

    I’ve been doing exercises that make your head smaller. Because everyone wants a little head.

  14. jm363561 says:

    Probably the most important stat was the 82 regular season games played after all his injuries. He has still only played 189 games and there are reasonable hopes he will continue to develop even further. Love the player – great work by the scouts, and by Chia to have him locked up until 2023.

  15. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Its so much nicer talking about how good this player might be as opposed to talking about him not being able to stay healthy.Lets hope we get another full season out of Oscar!

    It was obvious to me that Oscar was making a point of shooting the puck more in the 2nd half of the season last year – lets hope he keeps that up.

    I know moving Letestu to PP1 coincided with the spike in production but I’d posit that replacing Reggie with Klef on PP1 had a similar effect – I look forward to Oscar’s boxcars with a full year on PP1.

    Speaking of the 2nd half, was just looking at the Oilers splits.

    Oscar’s pro-rated 2nd half numbers were 82-12-36-48 +22 and 204 shots. His TOI also jumped from 21:13 to 23:31.

    That’s a Hell of a half season (and as JM said still not at 200 GP). Stay healthy and keep it up young man!

  16. Thinker says:

    He’s ok I guess.

  17. John Chambers says:

    jm363561:
    Probably the most important stat was the 82 regular season games played after all his injuries. He has still only played 189 games and there are reasonable hopes he will continue to develop even further. Love the player – great work by the scouts, and by Chia to have him locked up until 2023.

    The contract IS dreamy

    By the end of this season his market value as a FA might already be $6M.

  18. Ryan says:

    wchay:
    I think the data you are quoting LT is both of two things:

    1. Great insight and we love those who collect and publish it.
    2. Needs context.

    A simple example: the Fenwick rate of the Swedes vs elites compared to Sekera/Russell is insufficient without some context on who they were out there with. For example (making this up completely) if the Swedes posted their rate with a disproportionately high rate of Letestu and co vs elites, then the result is truly meaningful. But if they got a heavier dose of Connor and Sekera posted his with Nuge… that’s a factor.Here’s hoping someone can provide the answer…

    Note: this analytics point does not change the fact that I too love Klef.

    That sounds like a great question for David Johnson, but now you can’t afford him.

  19. Thinker says:

    Ryan: That sounds like a great question for David Johnson, but now you can’t afford him.

    David Johnson is busy trying to get 1000 yards recieving in a season.

  20. Pescador says:

    My wife pinned a picture of Oscar on the ceiling of our bedroom,
    Ok, it was me

  21. Munny says:

    JDî: I’ve been doing exercises that make your head smaller. Because everyone wants a little head.

    Pull-ups?

  22. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    People where talking about player tracking an puck tracking.

    This is a brief part of Sportslogiq’s presentation at the Ottawa Hockey Analytics Conference in May.

    https://twitter.com/adp_diaz/status/860890736207826944

  23. Lowetide says:

    Pescador:
    My wife pinned a picture of Oscar on the ceiling of our bedroom,
    Ok, it was me

    Haha. Damn. That was funny.

  24. dustrock says:

    The other impressive thing besides the abs is playing that much against elites and being a Lady Byng candidate.

  25. Revolved says:

    My favorite Oiler.

    The last decade of mushy defence has led me to truly appreciate the men behind the puck, slowing the oppositions progress and transferring it back to the forwards. McDavid will receive the glory, but I think he’d be the first to point to Klefbom and Talbot as equal contributors.

    Finally, a cluster that is not also a fuck!

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