Anton Lander and Oscar Klefbom recalled

Jonathan Willis
March 08 2014 10:03AM

51-Lander-1

Well, that was fast. On Saturday, the Edmonton Oilers recalled Oscar Klefbom and Anton Lander from the Oklahoma City Barons.

The emergency recall requires the Oilers to be below a roster of 12 healthy forwards (in the case of Lander) and six healthy defencemen (in the case of Klefbom). That's not a hard bar for the Oilers to reach, as they had only 12 healthy forwards and six healthy defenceman post-deadline. Article 13.12 (m)(ii) of the CBA allows the league to ask for proof of emergency circumstances if there's any suspicion otherwise.

As for the recalls, both of these players are guys that the Oilers have great interest in seeing at the NHL level.

Lander is a player who hasn't been overly impressive in a depth role in the NHL but who has really taken a stride forward in the AHL this year. He's scoring at better than a point-per-game pace and appears to have evolved into an elite two-way pivot, at least at the minor league level. 

There's a belief within the organization that Lander may be a significantly better player than he's shown to date in the majors, and given that he's in his final year of waiver exemption the organization needs to determine whether that is in fact the case. It wouldn't be a surprise, therefore, if he were to play above the fourth line during this major-league stint. 

Klefbom

Oscar Klefbom

As for Klefbom, there are a lot of parallels with Martin Marincin. Klefbom, like Marincin, has a big frame and exceptional skating, but if anything he's perhaps a little faster than Marincin and he certainly plays a heavier game (while Marincin is tall but rail-thin, Klefbom is playing at north of 215 pounds this year). The flip side is that Klefbom's had a steep North American learning curve this year, and while he's made major progress his reads still need some work. 

But some of the same things could have been said about Marincin, and his physical talents have made him arguably Edmonton's best defenceman since his recall. The hope, obviously, is that Klefbom can make the same jump and that his raw talent will make up for any deficiencies owing to inexperience. 

That Klefbom, and not Taylor Fedun, was the recall choice likely suggests an organizational view that Fedun isn't likely to evolve into an everyday NHL player, whereas Klefbom's ceiling is significantly higher. Testing Klefbom now gives them an idea of his readiness for next season and will certainly inform where he slots into the depth chart next fall. 

Importance

Craig MacTavish9

These are extremely important recalls, and the ramifications are likely to be greater than they would be normally. The Oilers are done this season, and the decision to recall Lander and Klefbom over Arcobello and Fedun is almost certainly related to a desire to establish where the former players fit into next year's plans. 

Edmonton already knows what Arcobello is, and fairly or not seem to have made up their collective mind on Fedun, too (multiple people within the organization have told me that Fedun is likely to top out as the 'tweener he is right now). 

That isn't true for Lander, whose AHL performance has dictated another look. The door is open right now for a long-term NHL role with the Oilers; it's now up to the coaching staff to put him in a position to succeed and to Lander to take advantage of the opportunity. Lander's waiver eligibility next season means that the window between now and the end of the year might be his last, best chance to grab an NHL job.

Klefbom isn't under the same level of pressure, because there's lots more road ahead of him, but competition for the rookie jobs on the Oilers' blue line is fierce. Even with a relatively weak defence corps, there is only so much room for young players, and with Marincin reasonably established and others like Darnell Nurse and perhaps even Aaron Ekblad entering the picture, the time for Klefbom to impress is now. He can help his chances of making the jump next season much easier with a strong showing here. 

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 Taylor Gang
March 08 2014, 04:15PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

What has Eakins done this year that inspires your confidence? If there was one metric that is trending in the right direction I too would like to give him another chance.

But the last time I checked, we were regressing in every aspect of the game........maybe not goaltending now but everything else!

Ego Eakins just trying to become the Phil Jackson of Hockey. Maybe he should focus on winning before trying to revolutionize the game.

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#52 Walter Sobchak
March 08 2014, 04:21PM
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JW

Is Klefbom's learning curve along the same lines as Schultz?

Is he making the same kind of mistakes or are Klefbom's mistake that much more noticeable at this time?

Kind of a wait and see I guess.

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#53 BabyNuge's_Baby
March 08 2014, 04:24PM
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Johe wrote:

This is what I would do with the lines:

Hall RNH Yakupov

Perron Lander Eberle

Hendricks Gordon Gagner

Joensuu Smyth Gazdic

Keep Lander there for minimum five games and see what he does. If you want to showcase Gagner, he is easily interchangeable with Ebs or Yak. The point is, give Lander an opportunity to succeed. Why not?

I couldn't agree more, he should absolutely slot in on the second line, give him real opportunity, don't waste him on the fourth line at 5 minutes a night.

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#54 kdunbar
March 08 2014, 04:57PM
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Does anyone know which of the top 2014 centres are the best in their own end?

Sam Reinhart Sam Bennett or Leon Draisaitl

Who plays the grittiest game?

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#55 Tom
March 08 2014, 04:58PM
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BabyNuge's_Baby wrote:

I couldn't agree more, he should absolutely slot in on the second line, give him real opportunity, don't waste him on the fourth line at 5 minutes a night.

Also agree,the team will not be able to see what he brings if they stick him in a third or fourth line role. Good luck Anton

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#56 Rob F
March 08 2014, 05:01PM
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Hemsky 4 assists.....coach putting him in a position to succeed

Lander lights it up in AHL.....underwhelming in NHL....will coach put him in position to succeed?

Or put him in a position to fail?,,....(see Hall at Center)

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#57 Anton
March 08 2014, 05:03PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Ego Eakins just trying to become the Phil Jackson of Hockey. Maybe he should focus on winning before trying to revolutionize the game.

Uhh...but Phil wins championships, he earned his right to be arrogant. What has Eakins done?

Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins!

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#58 Luke
March 08 2014, 05:12PM
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kdunbar wrote:

Does anyone know which of the top 2014 centres are the best in their own end?

Sam Reinhart Sam Bennett or Leon Draisaitl

Who plays the grittiest game?

Reinhart is a lot like Nuge, really smart and pretty complete player

Bennett is more of a goal scorer (And a damn good one)

And Draistl is a big gritty 2 way center man, if Edmonton decides to go with another forward in the draft it would hopefully be him.

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#59 Luke
March 08 2014, 05:12PM
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kdunbar wrote:

Does anyone know which of the top 2014 centres are the best in their own end?

Sam Reinhart Sam Bennett or Leon Draisaitl

Who plays the grittiest game?

Reinhart is a lot like Nuge, really smart and pretty complete player

Bennett is more of a goal scorer (And a damn good one)

And Draistl is a big gritty 2 way center man, if Edmonton decides to go with another forward in the draft it would hopefully be him.

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#60 kdunbar
March 08 2014, 05:17PM
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Thanks, I was thinking if Ekbald was already gone when the oilers draft.

Especially if they move to third or fourth either by league play or the lottery.

Unless of course we can get Shea Weber for the number one... (not going to happen)

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#61 Pouzar99
March 08 2014, 05:23PM
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The evidence that Eakins is both overwhelmed and severely lacking in tactical sophistication just continues to mount. Most obviously, despite minimal injuries and with better personnel the team is heads with a major drop in points, possibly even to the Pat Quinn levels. Most importantly ALL the Oilers talented young players have regressed under his guidance. Last season the top line drove the play and more than broke even against the top lines in the western conference. This year they struggle, partially because Eakins fanatically shuffles lines like the deck chairs on the Titanic, making cohesion impossible. Hall, Nuge, Eberle, Yak and Justin Schultz are all worse this year.

The PK has fallen for 9th to 16th, largely because insisted on playing Hall and Eberle ahead of players like Jones for months. The PP is beyond a disaster,falling from 3rd and 7th to 21st, or more accurately 26th when SH goals are considered. The fact that a few other teams have also experienced a significant drop in proficiency does not make Eakins's failures any less glaring. Penalty killers have adjusted. They always do. Eakins' response is the 1-3-1, the strategic successor to the swarm.

The Oilers have only improved in 2 areas, faceoffs and anthem singing, neither of which were produced by Eakins. Over the course of the season, the goaltending has also improved, again not because of Eakins. The irony that Renney and Kreuger were fired while Eakins is guaranteed survival,to protect the GM's credibility, is not lost on serious fans.

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#62 Ed in Edmonton
March 08 2014, 05:29PM
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Jason wrote:

Who knew Hemsky could be a top 6 forward .

So far 4 assists today.

Oilers cannot evaluate talent . They ruin players.

Good for Hemsky.

But remember Gagner had 8 points one game.

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#63 He Who Knows
March 08 2014, 06:01PM
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Hemsky gets 4 points, hmmmm. Which player has thrived under Eakins?? As hazardous as it is with firing another coach, The current one has no idea what he is doing. I also do not think Kreuger was the guy, the team player even softer than already do. They need an experienced jackass back there. Someone who can light a spark under their rear ends and bring consistent intensity. Crawford?

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#64 Yaz
March 08 2014, 06:17PM
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I really am concerned about bringing in Klefbom and Lander at this point. These coaches are not capable of teaching anything and there is a good chance they will ruin these 2 prospects along with the existing first rounders who have been lost under these clowns. Do not let these coaches near any more new players, buy them out in June and get a real coach with Nelson as the assistant coach.

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#65 nuge2nail
March 08 2014, 06:21PM
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Oiler Domination To Follow

Good for Hemsky.... Not Eakins fault though- our top 6 puts up no points no matter who plays in it...

Would you trade Ekblad and Nurse for Myers and Erhoff...

Match up the timeline for both rebuilds?

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#66 kale
March 08 2014, 06:23PM
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Pouzar99 wrote:

The evidence that Eakins is both overwhelmed and severely lacking in tactical sophistication just continues to mount. Most obviously, despite minimal injuries and with better personnel the team is heads with a major drop in points, possibly even to the Pat Quinn levels. Most importantly ALL the Oilers talented young players have regressed under his guidance. Last season the top line drove the play and more than broke even against the top lines in the western conference. This year they struggle, partially because Eakins fanatically shuffles lines like the deck chairs on the Titanic, making cohesion impossible. Hall, Nuge, Eberle, Yak and Justin Schultz are all worse this year.

The PK has fallen for 9th to 16th, largely because insisted on playing Hall and Eberle ahead of players like Jones for months. The PP is beyond a disaster,falling from 3rd and 7th to 21st, or more accurately 26th when SH goals are considered. The fact that a few other teams have also experienced a significant drop in proficiency does not make Eakins's failures any less glaring. Penalty killers have adjusted. They always do. Eakins' response is the 1-3-1, the strategic successor to the swarm.

The Oilers have only improved in 2 areas, faceoffs and anthem singing, neither of which were produced by Eakins. Over the course of the season, the goaltending has also improved, again not because of Eakins. The irony that Renney and Kreuger were fired while Eakins is guaranteed survival,to protect the GM's credibility, is not lost on serious fans.

This is so accurate in my opinion...it is all about MacT's credibility as to why Eakins is still around. If he was so concerned about the coaching turnover we would still have Krueger

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#67 The Last Big Bear
March 08 2014, 06:26PM
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Ed in Edmonton wrote:

Good for Hemsky.

But remember Gagner had 8 points one game.

Yeah, and the Oilers ruined Gagner too.

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#68 Ed in Edmonton
March 08 2014, 06:29PM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

Yeah, and the Oilers ruined Gagner too.

I might have said Kassian. At least for this year.

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#69 Serious Gord
March 08 2014, 06:30PM
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John Chambers wrote:

A lot of people have turned their back on this team and that's fine.

I still think it'll be entertaining to watch Scrivens and the boys try and muster a .500 record through the rest of the season while we get a look at the future.

There are a lot of value contracts coming up through the system and likely another top-3 pick. I have faith in MacT that we're oing to be a playoff team 24 months from now, and with this pool of prospects we could be good for a long, long time.

Factoring in who the oil are playing the rest of the way, should they play 500 hockey - true 500 hockey - half or better regulation wins - then I will be betting a lot of money that they easily make the playoffs next year.

They will be lucky to go 333 the rest of the season.

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#70 Deke Rivers
March 08 2014, 07:34PM
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Come on it's been one game for Hemsky and we is motivated. We've all seen what a motivated Hemsky can do. It's the unmotivated Hemsky that drove most of us nuts. Don't blame the coach. There's no way one morning skate has revolutionized Hemsky's game.

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#71 revingev
March 08 2014, 07:44PM
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Sam Reinhart plays a good 200 foot game. Not a rough and tough player, not high end speed but very high hockey IQ. Both his jr and U20 team canada coaches would tell you the same as the scouts too. Draisaitl while can play both ways does not carry the same hockey iq as Reinhart. If Ekblad is not there for the Oilers, I want them to take Sam Reinhart. When Stu starts getting interviewed in the next months coming listen closely and you will hear him rave on Reinhart for those very same reasons. They like Leon's skill and size but not sure IMO if he has the skill at the next level to be a 2line center against guys bigger then him.

1.Ekblad 2.Reinhart 3. Draisaitl 4. Bennett would be my best educated guess into their top 4 for order of selection at the 2014 NHL Entry draft when they step up to the podium.

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#72 Gk1980
March 08 2014, 07:52PM
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Sevenseven wrote:

Agree. Unfortunately looks like the oil are going to overpay for any top 4 defenseman available in free agency, but will probably only be for 1 or 2 years. I see one of our top 4 forwards being traded, and our assistant coaches getting the axe. I too am optimistic going forward, and it cant hurt scriven stealing games to change the attitude in the locker room. If we have a team that plays ourselves out of a top 3 pick, thats a good thing going forward to next year. Count me in on the Scrivens band wagon. I sure hope he is the next Roli for this franchise. It is always easier to hustle and want to win those battles when you have a 7-2-2 record.

Who cares if they overpay for a top defenceman. I the oilers don't someone else will. It's not your money and they seem to be ok cap wise. I think. Overpay! GET THE GUY!!!

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#73 D-Unit
March 08 2014, 08:07PM
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He Who Knows wrote:

Hemsky gets 4 points, hmmmm. Which player has thrived under Eakins?? As hazardous as it is with firing another coach, The current one has no idea what he is doing. I also do not think Kreuger was the guy, the team player even softer than already do. They need an experienced jackass back there. Someone who can light a spark under their rear ends and bring consistent intensity. Crawford?

1 game for Hemsky, don't too high up on things. In Edmonton he played a lot of third line minutes. Not the best for him, but if he was moved up to the top 6, half this site was upset that one of the golden children weren't getting those minutes. Hemsky is on a new start, and doing everything he can to get a big contract as a UFA. When he gets the contract, my guess is you will see a half hearted, unmotivated Ales several nights a year.

To answer your question, I would say Perron has thrived under Eakins. The kind of thriving that has him on pace for a career year points wise.

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#74 THRNHJE
March 08 2014, 09:10PM
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revingev wrote:

Sam Reinhart plays a good 200 foot game. Not a rough and tough player, not high end speed but very high hockey IQ. Both his jr and U20 team canada coaches would tell you the same as the scouts too. Draisaitl while can play both ways does not carry the same hockey iq as Reinhart. If Ekblad is not there for the Oilers, I want them to take Sam Reinhart. When Stu starts getting interviewed in the next months coming listen closely and you will hear him rave on Reinhart for those very same reasons. They like Leon's skill and size but not sure IMO if he has the skill at the next level to be a 2line center against guys bigger then him.

1.Ekblad 2.Reinhart 3. Draisaitl 4. Bennett would be my best educated guess into their top 4 for order of selection at the 2014 NHL Entry draft when they step up to the podium.

Switch Draisatl and Bennett, and I think you got it right. Bennett can score, and he is fiery. Draisatl is a gentle giant so to speak.

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#75 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
March 08 2014, 09:13PM
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John Chambers wrote:

A lot of people have turned their back on this team and that's fine.

I still think it'll be entertaining to watch Scrivens and the boys try and muster a .500 record through the rest of the season while we get a look at the future.

There are a lot of value contracts coming up through the system and likely another top-3 pick. I have faith in MacT that we're oing to be a playoff team 24 months from now, and with this pool of prospects we could be good for a long, long time.

I agree with you John. Nice part is, we can cheer hard for the Oilers in good faith and know that they are still going to struggle to be a .500 team through the last 20 games facing a tough schedule. In the end we should end up picking somewhere between 3rd and 5th. The pick will fill a hole either on D or at #2 Centre within a year or two.

If MacT can get even one veteran #2 Dman in the summer trade market, with the changes already made we should crawl out of the bottom 10 next year.

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#76 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
March 08 2014, 09:34PM
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kdunbar wrote:

Does anyone know which of the top 2014 centres are the best in their own end?

Sam Reinhart Sam Bennett or Leon Draisaitl

Who plays the grittiest game?

Reinhart great hockey IQ..... +22......12pims

Bennett. Scrappy.......+34........134pims

Draisaitl. 2 inches taller, 20 lbs heavier. +2....... 20pims

I think the first tier is Ekblad, Reinhart, Bennett. Draisaitl is one tier down but bigger.

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#77 kale
March 08 2014, 10:19PM
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revingev wrote:

Sam Reinhart plays a good 200 foot game. Not a rough and tough player, not high end speed but very high hockey IQ. Both his jr and U20 team canada coaches would tell you the same as the scouts too. Draisaitl while can play both ways does not carry the same hockey iq as Reinhart. If Ekblad is not there for the Oilers, I want them to take Sam Reinhart. When Stu starts getting interviewed in the next months coming listen closely and you will hear him rave on Reinhart for those very same reasons. They like Leon's skill and size but not sure IMO if he has the skill at the next level to be a 2line center against guys bigger then him.

1.Ekblad 2.Reinhart 3. Draisaitl 4. Bennett would be my best educated guess into their top 4 for order of selection at the 2014 NHL Entry draft when they step up to the podium.

Living in the kootenays I have been able to watch Reinhart play over the last couple of years. He can be gritty at times but I would say its not part of his game. When he is gritty he seems effective but its like maybe once a game. I have seen him give away some mean turnovers which means he should fit in quite well. he does definately stand out on the ice though

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#78 toprightcorner
March 09 2014, 12:16AM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Reinhart great hockey IQ..... +22......12pims

Bennett. Scrappy.......+34........134pims

Draisaitl. 2 inches taller, 20 lbs heavier. +2....... 20pims

I think the first tier is Ekblad, Reinhart, Bennett. Draisaitl is one tier down but bigger.

Are you seriously using +/- to make an argument for the best player? Are you stuck in 1994?

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#79 Anton
March 09 2014, 05:12AM
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Unless Scrivens wants to just keep on shutting the other teams out that I am expecting a 4 game losing streak. Sometimes, I just can't understand why so many GMs are so blind that some coaches just can't coach? Usually a team hire a minor league coach to major league that they usually hire from within. After Leafs fired Wilson that they hired Carlyle right away instead of promoting Eakins, even Brian Burke was not crazy enough to give the job to Eakins. I have never really want any former Oilers coach to get fired as early and as bad as for Eakins, he is just an arrogant clueless donkey.

Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins!

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#80 former Notre Dame Hound
March 09 2014, 09:35AM
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@The Last Big Bear

ha...Gagneritous, horrible dis-ease...Gagner has been pathetic ever since he got playing with the bigger kids...go back to Florida pussy league and play with your daddy...Gag's...(what a poetic nick name) is probably the sole reason the pychee in the Oilers team is so pathetic...out brown spot!!!!

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#81 Ryan2
March 09 2014, 10:27AM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

Yeah, and the Oilers ruined Gagner too.

I disagree. Gagner is just being shown for what he has been the past few years - a smaller, weaker, softer, defensively challenged one dimensional player. He needs his wingers to drive the bus when he is on the ice. I said it when the deal was made, the Oiler should have kept Cogliano since he could play a 200 foot game and had speed. Average skating small forwards do not last any longer since the big guys can skate.

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#82 wintoon
March 10 2014, 07:48AM
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On the surface it may seem that there is not a good spot to put Lander. However, the key to development, even at the NHL level, is to create a spot for him where he has a good chance to succeed.

That means put him in the 2C slot for a number of games and see how he performs. He cannot be worse than Gagner defensively and may develop some chemistry with Perron or Yakupov. Would love to see it happen.

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