Nearly three hours after selection Swedish defenceman Philip Broberg eighth overall, Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland met with members of the media.
Below is be a full transcription of his media availability.
Did you think he’d be there at 8th overall?
“Certainly we had our list. There was a lot of good players at the top part of the draft. We knew we were going to get a good player. We’re excited to get Philip.”
Why did you go defence over forward with some of the players still available?
“I think if you’re gonna have a good team in the National Hockey League, you have to have a good defence. You know, those teams that go for long playoff run, set up good defense, deep defense, big defense, and we’re going to build a good deep, big defense.”
Question about drafting a Swede was influenced by having Nick Lindstrom in Detroit.
“You’re going way back in time. I think back to our team in ’08 that we won the cup, and obviously, we had Lindstrom, we had Rafalski, we had Kronwall, we have Brad Stewart, we had a… really top notch top four. When we acquired Brad Stewart, but he was a different dimension to the other three guys. (They were) all mobile, they can skate, they can handle the puck, they could get back and pivot, turn the net and get the puck snapped up to our forwards hands. That’s part of the thinking in this selection. And I would say to you that certainly coming in, and I mean, I’m certainly aware that we need forwards. But I also know that you got to have a good defense. If you have a good defense, it’s got to be deep. It’s got to be talented. And I think that that’s really important in the world in the league today.
And Broberg can escape, transport, pass the park, get back, move the puck. and I think, you know, the hockey IQ that you’re talking about.”
Holland also said you don’t really know what you have when you draft a player until the next couple of years “how good all these players are today.”
“We’re excited to get a six foot three puck moving, puck transporting defenseman.”
What’s the plan for Broberg? Does he stay in Sweden?
“Well, we talked to him yesterday, his rights are owned by Hamilton of the OHL. I think he’s open to going to Hamilton. We’re going to talk to him next few days.”
Where do you project him?
“We’re hoping, believing he’s going to be a top-four defenceman. we have we’ve obviously got lots of other young defenseman. The reality is, you know, to play defense in the National Hockey League, you’re probably got to be 21, 22, 23 years of age. You know, he’s, he’s 18. He’s got two years of junior left to go out and we’ll see if he goes to Hamilton or he stays in Sweden, I got to talk to him. We got to talk to him, his representatives. And then, you know, we gotta make sure that he develops and becomes an NHL defenseman, you can’t rush him. He needs to play at a league where he’s important. And he plays lots of minutes.”
What’s the trade market like?
“I’ve had lots and lots and lots of coffee. I was on the phone all day long (and) in the last few days. You never really know. I mean, I’ve talked to lots of teams about lots of different things. I’ve talked to lots and lots of teams. We’ll see. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.”
More on Puljujarvi.
“I’m going to do a deal when think it’s it’s a good deal, a fair deal. he’s not the fourth overall pick today. Where is he today? That’s what I’m going to try to figure out.”
Preference on Broberg in Hamilton or Sweden.
“Well, I got great respect for Canadian Junior hockey. They play lots of games and on an NHL-sized rank, they got to be on the bus. It’s hard, it’s physical and you get to test it. And when you have a bad game, you got to get back on the bus and you gotta go play again. So certainly, you know, when you play in Europe, they don’t play quite as many games and they practice a little bit more. I think the most important thing is that when you’re a young player is that you play. (If he’s going to be) important on the team over there, then I’ll certainly listen. If he’s going to be a five-six (defenceman) then I think he’s good but he’s best served to be over here.”
Was there any talks of Edmonton moving down?
“I had one call, but we made a decision to stick.”
Broberg taking time to develop.
“We certainly believe he’s going to be a top four defenseman. I like to have a big defense. You know, you can have some small but i think you know, you saw the two teams in the finals, Some small defenseman where there’s lots of bigger, rangeier defenceman.”
On free agency and the team’s next moves.
“We’ve got to get some forwards. I think we have seven NHL defenseman on one way contracts. Certainly I gotta sign a goaltender or acquire a goaltender between now and training camp. I’m looking for some cheaper forwards that can play. At the same time, I think we’d like to get a guy that can be playing in our top-six if possible.”
On Twitter: @zjlaing
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