As the Oilers prepare for their qualification series against the Chicago Blackhawks there is one player at training camp who has been quite the surprise. Fresh off a season in the SHL, 2019 first round pick Philip Broberg has been making quite the name for himself at Edmonton’s phase 3 training camp.
Broberg spent the past season in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) playing the bulk of the 45-game season in a third pairing role. His production, although unspectacular, wasn’t terrible for a 19 year-old rookie defender, tallying one goal and eight points during that span. His ice-time was fairly limited, averaging about 14 minutes a night with little to no time on the power-play. It was a season of adjustment for the young Swede and many saw his invitation to training camp as just a formality to give him a taste of the NHL experience.
That doesn’t appear to be the case any more, as Broberg has quickly blossomed into one of the better defensemen four days into camp. On display, first and foremost, is the blazing speed he was drafted for. It seems as though that speed has made a quick adjustment to the smaller North American ice surface and is has led to some remarkable plays.
Broberg just led another rush up the ice, stayed in the play and buried home a James Neal feed.— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) July 18, 2020
Normally in a Fall Training Camp one rookie shines.
This is a different situation but today he has been stellar! https://t.co/GoZRpTDeKW
His great showing has also been recognized by teammates as, fellow Swedish defenders, Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson have offered their praise as well.
"He's a big, strong guy & a good skater. I'm very excited to see what he can bring to the organization."— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) July 17, 2020
Klefbom on his impressions of fellow Swedish d-man Broberg through the opening week of #Oilers training camp pic.twitter.com/kuGJ63rUek
There is still quite a bit of stuff that needs to happen before Broberg is able to find a spot in the lineup this summer. The team is prepping for a playoff run and, despite a good showing in camp thus far, the team will probably shy away from throwing a teenage defender into the spotlight of playoff this early. He would still have to push through two of Evan Bouchard, Caleb Jones and William Lagesson if he wants a chance at seeing the ice.
Though not impossible, it isn’t likely that we will see him donning the orange and blue when the Oilers take to the ice against the Chicago Blackhawks on August 1st. Even so, we should look at this as a very positive development for a guy who a lot of people, myself included, doubted when the team drafted him last June.
It is likely, however, that Broberg will stick around for the entirety of the playoff run, as Mike Green’s absence opens up a spot for him to soak up as much knowledge as possible. Ken Holland has already detailed the club’s plan to develop Broberg and it is expected that he will return to Sweden to play the 2020/21 season, which makes an NHL debut for the 2021/22 season a possibility.