If anybody’s throwing out defenceman Oscar Klefbom’s name as possible bait to get a high-end forward, it’s a total non-starter.
The Oilers love Klefboom and feel he can be an NHLer next season, with no pit stop in Oklahoma City.
They seriously feel Minnesota Wild rookie Jonas Brodin’s Swedish League (Farjestads) defence partner is top two material and the obvious long-term partner for Justin Schultz.
Klefbom is stuck n neutral, having been ranked 9-8-9-8-8 since being drafted in June 2011. He's got a great pedigree and a fantastic scouting reports, but hasn't wowed anyone with his on-ice results.
His comparables are favorable as well:
At age 17, Klefbom was a semi-regular in the SEL and except for games played, performed about as well other first round draft picks out of the SEL.
In the following season, Klefbom lost ground on all of his comparables due to a couple of concussions and a thigh injury:
Klefbom's offensive output was a concern, but the reports of quality competition and high levels of skill kept everyone optimistic about his development arc.
In what was supposed to be his breakout season, Klefbom was again shut down early, this time due to a season-endling shoulder injury and subsequent surgery:
His numbers certainly perked up, but when you consider that four of his peers were already in the NHL by this time, the shine comes off of the offense.
So where does Klefbom go from here? His peer group kicked it into high gear:
Both Brodin and Larsson will play significant roles for the Wild and Devils in 2013-14.
Can Klefbom catch up? dawgbone on the matter:
Oiler fans have already seen a couple of first round picks go through serious injury issues and fail to live up to expectations. I'm not saying Oscar Kelfbom is going to be Marc-Antoine Pouliot or Alex Plante, but 2 major injuries in 2 years is worrisome. These are important developmental years and it hurts to waste them by spending time just to get back to the level you were at a couple of months ago.
And this is what Klefbom's future comes down to. Has he had enough development time to polish his game and make an impact? db mentions two injuries, but with the thigh, shoulder and concussion issues, Klefbom is actually on the far side of four major injuries and he's still just a kid. If he can overcome the stunted growth curve and stay healthy, all of the scouting reports say he's got a very bright future ahead of him. But dawgbone nails it:
These are important developmental years and it hurts to waste them by spending time just to get back to the level you were at a couple of months ago.
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