March 05 2014 11:10PM
Today's deadline deal that sent away Nick Schultz opens up a big league job for a left defender. Oscar Klefbom was to receive the call today, but suffered an injury and his NHL debut is delayed.
Statistically, Klefbom has shown progress in his first pro season. If we split his season in half, it's easy to see the progress:
- Oct-Dec: 27, 0-3-3 -10
- Jan-Mar: 18, 1-5-6 +1
That's progress! Recently, Jonathan Willis wrote an interesting item on Klefbom and I think pointed us to the reason why the Oilers want to see Klefbom now.
- Willis: Klefbom has been the third most-impressive AHL blueliner, and his numbers back that up. He’s been playing mostly on a pairing with David Musil too, so his results have not been goosed by having a difference-making partner. He’s almost the exact opposite of Fedun as a player: Fedun has average speed, below average size, but computes the game brilliantly while Klefbom’s extremely fast and has a pro frame but gets in trouble because his decision making could be better.
I spoke to Jason Strudwick about Klefbom today, and he mentioned something that benefited him when he was Klefbom's age, gave him an indication about how much was still to be done: a game in the NHL.
Klefbom's injury history is growing, and word today (from MacT, and vague) about another injury is a concern. He's missed time this season and lost most of last season to injury back in Sweden. Klefbom's injury history is fairly long for such a young man:
- Sept 2/11: Swedish Oil: Klefbom was unlucky enough to get cut on his thigh by an ice skate, the wound was sewn with ten stitches, and when the stitches were removed there was an infection. Now Klefbom is on penicillin which also prohibits him from playing.
- Nov 14/11: Sami Hoffrén: Klefbom was hit to the head by a Russian forward and he had to leave the game. Didn’t play in the tournament after that hit. I assume Klefbom suffered a concussion.
- Oct 9/12: he lost his season to a shoulder injury. Oscar Klefbom: “It happened on Oct. 9 playing against Vaxjo,” Klefbom said. “I dumped the puck in the offensive zone and I got a small hit from behind and I lost my balance and I flew into the boards. I had to catch myself with my left arm. Afterwards, I couldn’t feel my arm, it was like a dead arm. I didn’t know what happened.”
- Sept 12/13: Oilers announce they are following concussion protocol after Klefbom is injured in the U of A game.
- 2013-14: He spent various portions of the season out of the lineup with injury.
Injuries are now a pretty large issue with this player—not Pouliot-level yet—and he hasn't played his first NHL game.
This is unwelcome news. It's important not to overreact—MacT's word and tone didn't suggest anything major and Klefbom finished the game—but it's worth noting as the news cycle winds down for the day.
Oscar Klefbom has been on the horizon for a couple of years now, and the injury concerns have been marching in lock step. We wait for more information on Klefbom.
(photos by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved)