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).

  • LT,

    The Oilers are drafting predominantly from the WHL & Sweden, are you at all concerned the backend is looking Euro / 1 dimensional?

    Smid, Peckham, Teubert, Plante, Musil have limited offense.

    Gilbert, Foster, Petry, Marincin, Klefbom aren’t exactly “physical defenders”.

    This isn’t the final product and the prospects haven’t fully developed, but I’d like more “Canadian boys” on the Oilers backend going forward.

    • Lowetide

      I think the Oilers are a little low on “complete” defensemen, by that I mean a player who can move the puck efficiently and play well without the puck in his own end.

      I’d say that Marincin and Klefbom have that kind of potential, and would argue that Ryan Whitney is already that kind of player.

      I believe a guy like Gilbert–who is a finesse defender but also blocks shots–is a complete enough defender that he would be very effective on a second pairing with a veteran D. A guy like Jason Smith about 2000, that kind of player.

      If Edmonton can get that guy thi summer, and Petry (or someone) can settle in with Whitney on the top pair, then the others can fight for third pairing time.

      I also think Foster will be better and that Smid has to be better. But also credit where due, the farm system has graduated Peckham and is on the verge of graduating Petry.

      There is a pipeline on defense. Finally.

    • Death Metal Nightmare

      Actually Marincin has a physical aspect to his game and even made a late illegal hit during the 2010 WJC. Klefbom is much of the same he skates well and likes to hit. While neither player is going to be Scott Stevens in terms of the hitting aspect they are both physical defenders but are raw in their technical skills and because of their size need to improve agility and lateral movement. But they both have 2 way capabilities in terms of their skill sets.

      Also why does everyone think Petry isn’t physical. He makes the hit when it’s necessary. I’ve seen him hit guys a lot below the goal line to seperate them from the puck, he just doesn’t go head hunting because he doesn’t want to play himself out of position. He’s a pretty smart defender that just needs experience and time to solidify his game. But in the games I’ve watched he’s definitely hit more than either Whitney or Gilbert who are both around the same size and have similar skill sets to Petry.

    • Lowetide

      I looked around the web for a list but couldn’t find it. I would guess the Oilers had a few at the 2007 edition, since they had three first round picks and all would/should have been invited.