The Edmonton Oilers are "in search of" defensemen who can play at the NHL level and develop with the fab four. Is Oscar Klefbom ready to help now?

Martin Lundén has been a valuable resource for Oiler fans over the piece and continues to bring information miles before the rest. He was so far in front of the Klefbom signing seasons changed, and now he has some new information that may impact the big club in 12-13.

  • Lundén:According to sources who’ve talked to Klefbom the Oilers have tried to persuade Klefbom, offering him a spot on the Oilers roster with guaranteed ice-time, a guarantee that the highly thought of Schultz didn’t receive (or so they say). Klefbom have yet to make up his mind, saying “it’s obviously a lucrative offer” that “makes you think” but “nothing is decided yet and I’ve asked them for more time to make a final decision”.

I trust his word, the guy is connected and there’s a direct quote in there. So, is this a good idea? I think it’s dangerous to have two rookies playing top 6 minutes, especially when the team lacks someone who can block out the sun and calm the waters at the top of the depth chart.

Consider the depth chart with Klefbom in the top 6:

  1. Ladislav Smid
  2. Jeff Petry
  3. Ryan Whitney
  4. Justin Schultz
  5. Nick Schultz
  6. Oscar Klefbom
  7. Andy Sutton
  8. Theo Peckham
  9. Corey Potter
  10. Colten Teubert
  11. Taylor Fedun
  12. Alex Plante

If the story is true, I doubt the Oilers are looking for another defender unless it’s an upgrade in the top of the depth chart. A guess would be that they were so impressed by Klefbom (as implied by the article) that they are willing to suffer the growing pains of two rookie blue in order to fast track the young Swede.

It is a surprising turn of events. This kid must have taken one giant leap forward from a year ago.



    “I’m hoping they keep Gagner too. They’ve invested this much time in him, might as well see how this thing turns out.”

    Ummm, 5 years isn’t long enough to figure this out? Holy Dithers…

    Why does Gagner rate 6 or more years to “figure this out” when Omark, PRV, and others are held to a much much shorter timeframe to perform consistently, with fewer quality at-bats?

    If the Oil can find some big semi-skilled wingers with decent speed and defensive awareness, and who are strong on the puck (to cover Gags’ weaknesses), then fine, keep him. If not, let’s move on. We all know this team has to get bigger and more physical.


    I read so far what most are saying….to give Schultz this full year of seasoning and then bring in Klefbom next year, but going out to get another (trade) defenceman who is already signed for three to four years doesnt help…. it adds to having too many players.

    I think Klefbom should come this year and the main reason to support this is Krueger. He knows of european players and their type background and skills better than most north american coaches do.

    If the Oil have made such an offer its because Krueger watched the kid very intently and saw how ready he may be for the new team system.

    Dont forget the team also has Fedun and Teubert with whom to rotate with Klefbom ancd or J. Schultz, if necessary this coming season as well.

    The Oilers have to start clearing up the excess of players on the back end now with trading some such as Peckham, Potter, Plante, etc.

    The Oilers have the next wave coming in very soon now also with Marancin, Musil, Gernat, Davidson, Bigos, Simpson, Laleggia, etc.

    Yes there may be growing pains with Schultz and Klefbom playing this year but with another defenceman the team would move next year there would be more growing pains again anyways.

    I dont mind cause it’s within three years we should be winning the Cup (HOPE) ….or at least be ready for the final four.

    I am very okay with this.

  • CaptainLander

    Honestly it could be a tough call, yes he is a rookie but if he looks better at camp then the vets then how do you not bring him over? You can always send him to OKC. What if he is ready.

    I am not sure it is all that easy to get this amazing and cheap defense man that some fans think exists. Look at the Wideman contract and tell me that you can get a top 4-6 defense easily. There always seems to be this delusion that we can trade Omark and Peckam for, well anything never mind a proven NHL defenseman.

    If Klefbom is the best player available to play here then I say do it. Looking at where he is in the depth chart there is room for him and Schultz to play meaningful but not always the really tough minutes. Here is how I see it.

    We are sadly not winner a cup or even making the playoffs next year. I simply refuse to believe that a player like Klefbom cannot develop in the NHL.

    Smid Petry
    Whitney J Shultz
    Klefbom N. Schultz
    Sutton Peckam

  • vetinari

    I would rather that they not rush Klefbom into the NHL, but what the heck do I know? If the top brass thinks he’s ready and they are prepared to ride things out with two rookies on the blueline, so be it. If Klefbom sticks, by my count, we’ll need to move 1-3 blueliners to make room, especially if we try to snag a depth veteran blueliner like Chicago’s Hjarlsson or Calgary’s JayBo.

    • vetinari

      In all fairness to this thought that having two rookies is bad, Petry was basically a rookie and was the teams best defenseman last season. Peckham, and Barker sucked and they are more veteran. I believe that Doughty and Schultz are the same age and just won the Cup as the teams best defenseman. I don’t think it is unreasonable to think that Schultz can be a realiable 2nd pairing guy and be effective.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    I agree with Oilcan up there, last year Petry made the jump, and it looks like Schultz will this year. Don’t have more than two prized rookie D coming in at once, so they don’t end up eating each others ice time.

    Judging from dev camp videos, Klefbom looks a lot bigger out there than I remember him being last year.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    You have to give up something to get something. Klefbom could be part of the package that lands the Oilers Shea Weber. Now that Suter is locked down for life in Minnesota, it should make Webers decision easier in the next few months.

    Hemsky,Paajarvi,Klefbom and the first in 2013 may be enough to catch Poiles attention. I’d gladly send these guys east for Shea Weber on a long term commitment.

  • DieHard

    I’m fine with whatever Klefbom decides. I just want him to come to camp, play some exhibition games (if no lock-out) and up to 9 NHL games before he decides.

  • It depends how NHL ready they deem him to be.

    I think the smaller rink is actually an advantadge to a Dman where it is a huge disadvatadge to a finesse forward. The forwards are used to the extra space and being able to go wide on a bigger rink. On the bigger rink the speed and positioning is that much more important for a Dman. It will reall expose a Dman who is slow or out of position a lot.

    I think the main thing he will need to get used to over here is the contact. I am not opposed to breaking in 2 rookies at once as long as they pair them with vets and never have them play together.

    The main concern is if he is not ready you could hurt his confidence.

  • @ Quicksilver ballet

    Are you crazy? you would give up one of our better forward prospects, our best D pospect, and Hemsky for one year of Weber?

    He is a UFA next season.

    If the scouts actually believe Klefbom is better then Murray he will be a top pairing defender if a couple fo years and could step in to most team’s top 4 today. Plus he is bigger.

    The only way we want Weber is if he is signed long term for a reasonable rate (not going to happen) or if we had to give up very little to get him. (Not going to happen)

    If it was Hemsky and 1 D prospect other then Klefbom then you have to decide if that is worth 1 year of Weber because you know what he can demand in free agency next season.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    @ Cody

    No way you even make a deal for Weber till you have an extension worked out. Edmonton would need Poiles permission to talk to Weber before they would consider a package like this. If he’s coming to Edmonton at all, it’s only with a mega deal in his pocket. Edmonton best not be the rebound team after Weber breaks up with the Predators. Save the assets till he chooses which path he wants.

  • stevezie

    In my opinion go after Matt Carle. We have cap space for it. Let Klefbom develop in the SEL. Klefbom even says himself that he needs time to think about staying here so why rush him? We need another actual NHL’er like Carle on our blueline not roll the dice on Klefbom and hope he pans out. I thought Tambo learned a lesson from last season on Cam Barker that you can’t just hope players will work out, let alone defencemen who have never played in the NHL.

  • Barker was Different. Last year we were so many holes away from being a contender that it was hard to face the work that needed to be done. Barker is basically a failed draft pick that has a lot of the tools required to be an NHL Dman. We took a very small risk in signing him as he was a short term reclamation project.

    At the end of the experiment Barker is still a failed draft pick. If anything he ended up assisting Khabi in getting us the Lottery to get us another big piece.

    Every scout in the world says Murray is a sure thing, safe bet, long career as at least a shut down 2nd pairing Dman with the potential to be more. If the scouts are saying Klefbom is better and further along in his development; he too should be looked at as a can’t miss or safe bet.

    If he would agree to it before hand I agree I would love to see him play his 9 games as an experiment and if at that time it looks like the growing pains will be to hard let him play in the AHL for a year. The problem is I don’t think he wants to come over to play in the AHL. This is where the biggest risk lies.

    You better be awful sure he is ready if you are going to gaurantee him plying time in the NHL all year. Otherwise, you could hurt his confidence by playing him over his head all year, or hurt his trust by saying he will play NHL all year and then dropping him to the AHL.

    • Barker was a risk none the less which is my point. Sure last year Tambellini could take that risk because you’re correct Barker was a low risk/high reward had he worked out, but he didn’t and you’re also right he assisted Khabi with putting us in contention for a #1 overall pick.

      Where we are in the rebuild and from the impression that I’m getting from OilersNation and the upper management the rebuild is officially over as of 2012-2013. With that being said you do not gamble with 2 rookie d-man. Its time to put the Oilers in contention and you do that with adding NHL ready d-man.

      Add Carle or trade someone worth while and lets finally see some playoff hockey. Oilers fans have suffered long enough.

  • stevezie

    Whhhhy do we want two rookies? Why? Buffalo clearly has a D to spare, I’m not even picky on who we get.

    I don’t want to trade for Weber. We need all our pieces. Just keep platooning and hope somebody rises.

  • First off, it is great news that the Oilis over the moon about Klefbom’s development. Sounds like they should bring him to training camp and play him in some exhibition games before making a decision.

    The key consideration must be which course of action is more likely to make the kid the best player in the long run. If they believe he can be regular with the Oil this season, great. If, not then he is probably better off in the SEL, which is probably the best league outside the NHL, give or take the nutbar KHL. I was unhappy with his ice time last year but it seemed to pick up as the season went along and certainly doesn’t seem to have hurt his development.

    Unlike some on here I have some faith in team management, particularly in RK and MacT. If Raalph thinks the kid is good enough to stay and unlikely to go to OKC, he should stay. I suspect that a year of major responsibilty in the SEL would be best, but will go with the team decision, although I think they got it wrong with Lander last year.

  • striker777

    Rushing Klefbom would be a horrible idea. Saw him in camp this week. He needs at least 1 year in AHL to get used to smaller ice surface and physical game. I hope Tambo is not dumb enough to offer him NHL job now.
    Not sure how much ice time Klefbom receives in SEL, but for his own development, he should play for the Barons this year. Otherwise he loses up to 1 year of his development.