There has been chatter recently that the Oilers are shopping Oscar Klefbom. Let me take a deep breath — I own his jersey.
Ahem. While it’s a down year for him, can the Oilers win a trade moving the Swede?
A look back
When the Oilers plucked him at 19th overall back at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, he got lost in the shuffle. The Oilers had taken Nuge first overall, and Oscar was playing in Sweden. He wasn’t getting the same amount of hype after the draft as other Swedish defenders like Adam Larsson and Jonas Brodin or North American defenders like Dougie Hamilton, but a great showing at the World Juniors in 2012 massively raised his profile.
Before moving to North America, Oscar spent another couple seasons Farjestads BK Karlstad, his last ending early due to shoulder surgery. But the 2013-14 season was an exciting time for the Oilers. The next Paul Coffey, Justin Schultz, was coming off of his rookie campaign, and Oscar was coming to North America. After paying his dues in the minors, Klefbom was called up, marketed as another coming of Charlie Huddy who could fit as a perfect complement to Schultz.
Taking a risk
After just 77 NHL games, Chia awarded Oscar Klefbom a seven-year, $29.169-million contract. Not very many people were barking at the Oilers General Manager at the time, because Klefbom was projecting upwards, and this contract could be very economical for the Oilers.
By the end of last years playoffs, the Oilers brass was laughing with the contract they had given the Swede. During the 2016-2017 regular season, Oscar’s confidence had risen. He took the most shots of his young career, 201. They say when you shoot good things happen, and that proved true, as he had 38 points (12G, 26A). That swagger carried over to the postseason, where he added another five points (2G,3A) in 12 games played.
Odd man out
Aside from a few bright spots, Klefbom has looked arguably horrid since the preseason. From there, things have continued to go downhill for Klef which is a complete 180 from where he was at last season.
I could write out all of the bad that has happened this year with him on the ice, but I’m sure all of you fine Nation citizens are well aware of what has gone on with him as well. Unless you just woke up from a coma or crawled out from under a rock, in which case just Google Klefbom’s name. There are plenty of stories.
The Oilers have needs and a surplus, Oscar is a surplus. When you have a handful of left-shooting defencemen, and you’re having the season that Klefbom is, it doesn’t sound good for our boy Oscar. He’s a bargaining chip for sure, but moving him will cause a riot within our fan base in the next year or so. Not to mention, selling low again would not likely yield much in return which creates yet another problem.
I mentioned Justin Schultz’s name earlier in this article. He was literally booed on the ice and when he was moved people were happy. Then he went to the Penguins and became the player that the Oilers had hoped he would be in our uniform. Oscar is the opposite. Yes, fans are upset with him having a down year. But moving him could be a big mistake. I predict he will rebound, and if he does it one another team’s blue line, fans will be angry we moved him. I just don’t see us winning a trade moving him, do you? If so, let me know below!