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:

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  1. Ducey says:

    LT, Klefbom might have been more than a fringe SEL player plast year. HF in their recent rundown of the Oilers top 20 prospects said:

    Despite a post-draft season with little to speak of in the way of offensive statistics in the SEL, Klefbom provided many reasons for optimism. He made his way from an eighth defenseman and regular scratch on a good team at the beginning of the year to a top-four option, playing 20 minutes a night by the time the playoffs rolled around. In addition to his success at the professional level, he also shined against his peers at the U-20 World Junior Championship, where he was named to the all-tournament team and left Alberta with a gold medal around his neck.

    There was thought in some circles when Klefbom was drafted that he would be an offensive force but less impactful in his own zone. With more viewings and time to see him develop, the 19-year-old Swede has the look of a classic two-way defender capable of logging big minutes and contributing at a high level in all situations. A big man and sublime skater, Klefbom has improved defensively and been used in key situations playing for both club and country.

  2. striatic says:

    we’re *all* in the middle of a big bike race, aren’t we?

    i’m not a rock ‘em sock ‘em kind of guy but i believe the edmonton oilers need a very strong, physical defense.

    not thundering bodychecks necessarily but certainly a squad with the ability to break up the cycle and win puck battles with strength.

    smid took a big step forward in that regard last year, and coupled with his total commitment to shot blocking was the best story of the year on defense. better even than petry’s emergence, which had a lot to do with being paired with smid to begin with.

    kelfbom and j. shultz don’t look to be those kinds of guys, and n. shultz and sutton likely won’t be here beyond the short term. maybe peckham can become as reliable as smid has, but i haven’t seen the signs.

    point is that on D there is a lot of promise but it would be nice to see another “smid-type” emerging along with the rest of the young core.

  3. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Sorry, OT LT (Let us know when Klefbom does something exciting ;), but may I suggest a GDT for the 87 Can vs USSR Canada Cup game 3. Man it’s fun to watch and remember. Every time I see 99 and 66 on the ice together I expect something amazing to happen. And the Soviets were ahead of their time with their puck control, passing, and finesse. Other than 77, 7, and 8 the rest of the Can D were just pylons for the Russians.

    It’s hilarious at the same time though. There could be over 100 hooking calls in every one of these games using today’s standard, and 99 could have had 25 of them.. Whatever you can get away with.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Messier would have been arrested in the 2nd period of G1 if they all played today.

  5. JohnnyRocket says:

    SK Oiler Fan,

    I know. I think it was at the end of the second period, Anderson drove hard to the net and then, at full speed, stuck out leg to trip the defenseman going the other way. So blatant.

    Great hockey, though. So much flow despite the hooking and grabbing.

    I have to admit, too, that it seemed like the calls went Canada’s way an awful lot. It’s hard to imagine how high the stakes were then. I guess all we can compare it to us the Olymics.

  6. VOR says:


    The “smid-type” is David Musil.

  7. SK Oiler Fan says:


    Agreed, the flow was great despite the hooking, and grabbing. It almost looked like Coffey was told to limit his rushing though. Whenever he got the puck with time in his own zone he made it look so effortless that it looked like if he really skated hard he could go end to end every time, but he’d pass it off to a slower winger 95% of the time.

    The goalteniding was poor by today’s standards even though Fuhr would make alot of saves look miraculous. However, Craig Ludwig had wider shinpads than the goalie pads they were wearing.

    Anderson got away with so much, but he was so reckless that it looked accidental most times. Guys must ahve hated playing against him.

  8. SK Oiler Fan says:

    I can see why 99 called game two his best ever. Every shift consisted of get open, get puck, rag it for a 3-5 seconds, draw over 3 russians, then dish to someone for a scoring chance. Amazing

  9. gd says:

    That game was the best hockey game I have ever seen. The Habs-Red Army New Years Eve game wasn’t even close to the pace and skill and drama of that game.

    Canada’s PP was Gretz-Lemieux-Mess-Coffey-Bourque. The lowest all time scorer was Coffey at 13th.

    What a golden age for Canadian Centres. On that team, Gretz, Lemieux, Mess, Hawerchuk and Gilmour. They cut Yzerman, Francis and Savard. I’m assuming that depth was a byproduct of the peak of the baby boom, improved player development post 72, and youth hockey still being affordable to the middle class. I sure wish someone at Hockey Canada would study at era and figure out how we turned out so many talented C.

    I was 20 at the U of A at the time of that series. Game 2 was on a Sunday night and back then bars didn’t open on Sundays and you had to eat to be able to drink. We went to a pizza place and had to order garlic toast every period just so we could keep drinking and with the double overtime screwed up our budget for the semester. What a great time to be a hockey fan in Edmonton.

  10. striatic says:

    VOR: The “smid-type” is David Musil.

    good point.

    here’s hoping.

  11. Truth says:

    Love that Canada cup. Messier with the butt end to the head and then two hand across the side of the face for a “light” two minute call. If that was today, the Russian (or whoever it may be) getting the butt end to the face would be doing the worm on the ice for 20 minutes. Great hockey how it should be played. As time goes on it’s turning into soccer. Could you imagine Ryan Kesler on the ice for one shift? HA!

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