Anton Lander and Oscar Klefbom recalled

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

  • D-Unit

    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.

    • nuge2drai

      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

  • nuge2drai

    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?

    • D-Unit

      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.

  • nuge2drai

    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.

  • nuge2drai

    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?

  • Serious Gord

    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.

  • D-Unit

    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.

    • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

      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

  • D-Unit

    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!

  • D-Unit

    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.