Dropping the Klefbom

Oscar Klefbom is a fine young defenseman with a bright future. The Edmonton Oilers didn’t tip their hand as to how much they liked him, but we should have known he would be high on their list. Why? Read on.

It’s an annual "happening" for Stu MacGregor era drafts. The Edmonton Oilers love their combines, and the NHL combine is becoming a personal check list for the Oildrop. Consider the last two Combine invite lists and the Oilers final draft list

2010 Oilers draft list

  1. L Taylor Hall YES
  2. R Tyler Pitlick YES
  3. D Martin Marincin YES
  4. L Curtis Hamilton YES
  5. C Ryan Martindale YES
  6. D Jeremie Blain NO
  7. G Tyler Bunz YES
  8. D Brandon Davidson YES
  9. L Drew Czerwonka NO
  10. F Kristians Pelss NO
  11. F Kellen Jones NO

Impressive. Seven of eleven, and every pick in the first three rounds attended the NHL combine. As I understand it, the National Hockey League invites the top 100 players for that season’s draft to the workout and evaluation weekend. If a team drafted and average number from the Combine list, you should expect 3.3 players per season.

Did this theory stand up for another year?

2011 Oilers draft list

  1. C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins YES
  2. D Oscar Klefbom YES
  3. D David Musil YES
  4. G Samu Perhonen YES (only Euro based goalie at the combine!)
  5. C Travis Ewanyk YES
  6. D Dillon Simpson NO
  7. C Tobias Rieder YES
  8. D Martin Gernat NO
  9. G Frans Tuohimma NO

Six of nine. Over the last two seasons, 59% of the kids selected by the Oilers attended the combine. That’s 13 players total, during a time we might have expected 7 (or about half of the total). It lends credence to my theory on the Oilers current draft tendencies, which are:

  1. Trust the consensus, especially in the first two rounds.
  2. If you make a reach pick, for crying out loud do it in the third round and beyond.
  3. draft heavily in the CHL, Sweden, Finland and oh yeah Slovaks are cool too.

Here are the areas Edmonton has drafted from during the MacGregor years (2008-11). Anything in bold means at least one selection from this year’s draft:

    1. WHL: 10
    2. Sweden: 4
    3. Finland: 4
    4. OHL: 3
    5. QMJHL: 3
    6. BCJHL: 2
    7. NCAA: 2
    8. Slovakia: 2
    9. USHS: 1
    10. Belarus: 1

The Edmonton Oilers are drafting out of the Western League in a way that resembles the mid-70’s Islanders. Let’s hope it pays off in a similar fashion (four Stanley’s).