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).

  • Lowetide

    Michael: Thank you for the kind words. I expect there is a long list of uber-qualified broadcasters in front of me for that gig (should it become available), but appreciate your words.

    I don’t believe the Oilers have released any of their dates for rookie camp, etc. That should come out as we roll into mid-July or so, but that’s a guess.

    • You are far too modest sir.

      Should the TEAM1260 decide to run an Oilers show against Bob/CHED, you should be first on that list.

      Your Oilers/hockey knowledge is unparallelled among those who talk/write about the Oilers for a living, and that includes the HHOF fishwrap guys.

      The only thing you don’t have is the press pass….and maybe the time needed to commit to a daily show.

      Wanye should start selling his blood now to buy the airtime.

  • Great show yesterday. I followed the draft on the NHL.com sight yesterday. Very good coverage. Fast paced. I liked the end result of the draft for the Oilers. Your article should be read by next years invitees. @ questions unrelated to your article. First question is one I hate to ask. Would you consider doing NationRadio on 1260 more than once a week? If the rumor mill is true and Bob moves over to 630 ched there will definitely be a slot where NationRadio could expand and grow. As much as I like Bob. I hate 630 ched. There sports coverage is so lame it hurts. 1260 is the true leader in sports in this town.Bob has his fans and his detractors alike. But NationRadio is for the fans and I think that expanding the brand at this time might be the right thing to do. You have alot of supporters.With the addition of Winnipeg to the NHL I see Nationradio growing even more. Calgary is finally on the bandwagon. Vancouver are what they are. I see Winnipeg Jets fans as rabid as us.Introduce them to the Nation and they’ll equal or surpass Edmonton in passion.
    Second question. Are the Oilers doing that camp in Kelowna(?) again this year? If so do we have times and dates for that prospects camp. I need a holiday and that would suit me as just the place where I could get some R&R and my hockey fix.

  • Lowetide

    Lowetide, Ive wondered this for a while, but why does this organization seem to have an aversion to drafting U.S. high school hockey kids? It seems like real.shift from the previous scouting staff.(not saying this is bad) Is do to the fact that that the Oilers feel that kids who go to US colleges don’t develop as well, or getting these kids to follow their guidence is more difficult. It seems after the NASH fiasco (granted he was a Canadian) the Oil seem less inclined.to draft out of the US. We know these kids are skilled and big and it seems other organizations are making out like bandits on these picks.

    The Oiler scouts to me are showing they are apparently drafting what they know. Their falling into Talon trap (granted Talon built a cup winner) The drafting of Musil and Simpson seem to show they are drafting kids their comfortable with and I am concerned they are missing out on good american born players lately.

      • Lowetide

        Hesketh played in the USHL this past season, and was supposed to be going to Wisconsin but they dropped him in mid-January.

        The Oil Kings have his CHL rights, so that’s a possibility. He is absolutely a suspect as opposed to a prospect at this time.

    • Lowetide

      I do think that the Oilers have gone away from USHL and NCAA players. I think it goes back to guys like Colin McDonald, Geoff Paukovich, Chorney and others and has to do with getting value.

      Stu MacGregor (to me) is leaning heavily on players who grow up in physical leagues or have experience against older players (Euro’s). If there’s a Matt Greene in the USHL I suspect they’d look at him but I don’t think we’re ever going to see another Taylor Chorney drafted by this group.

  • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

    So who are the other little kids that went on stage. I know Katz’z kid from Oil Change but who are these in the above pic?. The Oilers could start a really cool tradition at the draft. Have the previous years First round draft pick choose an Edmonton Kid with good grades from a poor family and fly them all expenses payed to the draft and have the kid come up and give the new jersey to the selected player. What a great way to link the new player with the fan base. The kid would be the talk of the school and the knowledge that he was a kid who had great grades would help the teachers create motivation in the students.

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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 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.