We don’t know if he’s an NHL player, but following Oscar Klefbom this season should answer one important question: what about his bat? Here’s what we know:
- Klefbom looks effective as a 2-way player against kids his own age. He’s an effective puck mover and a fine skater.
- Klefbom was good enough at a very young age to be a fringe SEL player.
- In that league, he showed very little offense.
I’m convinced enough of Klefbom to count him as the best defensive prospect this side of Justin Schultz (and Jeff Petry if you still count him as a prospect). We can’t say for certain he’ll be one of ‘the modern 5′–the equivalent of Coffey, Lowe, Huddy, Gregg, Steve Smith–but he’d be a solid bet. Other SEL players of interest might include:
- Dick Tarnstrom (AIK)
- Doug Lynch (Frolunda)
- Jonas Almtorp (Linkopings)
- Martin Gerber (Rogle)
- Liam Reddox (Vaxjo)
I’ll update the SEL season from time to time during the year, but special focus will be paid to Klefbom. He didn’t win the ‘upper corner follow’ sweepstakes but we’ll check in on him all the same.
If the Oilers see all of the top end kids–by that I mean Petry, Schultz, Klefbom, Musil–turn out, they’ll contend. Keeping a veteran like Smid can only help. If they get lucky with the depth guys like Gernat or Simpson, then they might be able to slide by without a lottery blue. A big part of the equation is Klefbom. Stu MacGregor has to be right about this fellow.
I don’t know if they’ll win the Stanley, but they’ll have some times.
Now a summary of today’s CBA negotiations: