The Edmonton Oilers have used their 2019 eighth-overall pick on Swedish defenceman Philip Broberg. The Oilers reached a bit on Broberg. Most rankings had the smooth-skating rearguard around 14, so it’s possible the Oilers could have traded down and still got Broberg. Still, it’s not a huge difference.
It’s not hard to see the Oilers imagining Broberg as the eventual yin to Bouchard’s yang on the Oilers’ top pairing one day. It’s also not hard to see the Oilers passing on some potentially game-changing forwards taken right after Broberg: Trevor Zegras, who most consolidated rankings had closer to five, Vasili Podkolzin, Matthew Boldy.
Oilers take defenseman Philip Broberg. Size, speed and loves to shoot. Not high on him as his defense and decision making with the puck are so-so. I get the pick though, as his upside is huge.
— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) June 22, 2019
By selecting Broberg eighth overall, the Oilers are going back to the same well they go to when drafting defencemen. Ken Holland is the new Oilers general manager and Dave Tippett is the new Oilers head coach, but the way they identify defencemen remains the same. The Oilers value defencemen whose value tilts more to the defensive side of the game. Oilers defenceman drafted in the first two rounds since 2006: Jeff Petry, Martin Marincin, Oscar Klefbom, David Musil, Darnell Nurse, Evan Bouchard, and now Broberg. If you’re a defenceman and Edmonton drafts you in the first two rounds, you’re probably more of a two-way guy and taller than 6-foot-2.
The Oilers would be ecstatic if Broberg turned into a left-handed Petry. Broberg is more of a new-age defenceman with elite boots that even Nurse can’t compare to. Some scouting services call Broberg the best skating defenceman in the draft . The Athletic’s Corey Pronman projects Broberg as a top-pairing defenceman.
Holland will continue talking trade on Jesse Puljujarvi on Saturday, but makes no guarantees.
Also, sounds like he would prefer that Broberg play in OHL Hamilton next year, where he may get more ice time than with SEL Skelleftea.
— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) June 22, 2019
There’s risk taking a defenceman that’s not a major puck mover high in the draft. Broberg played in a lower-tier Swedish league so it’s even harder to judge his offence. Klefbom had seven points in 67 Swedish Hockey League games and he’s scored at a 31-point pace in the NHL. A monster season with Hamilton in the OHL would quiet some of those concerns. Broberg tore up the Swedish junior league, too.
U-18 Allsvenskan Defenceman Seasons
It’s rare for an under-18 defenceman to play in the Allsvenskan. Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Rasmus Andersson didn’t have huge numbers and they’re offensive guys in North America. Broberg is in line with Lindholm and Nemeth, and a bit behind Andersson. A season or two as The Guy in Hamilton could develop his offence.
The Oilers are familiar with this type of player. You can never have too many defencemen who skate extremely well, especially at 6-foot-3. Edmonton has Klefbom and Nurse already on the roster with similar talents, but Broberg’s at least a few years away. With Broberg and Bouchard already in the fold, along with Caleb Jones, Ethan Bear, and Dmitri Samorukov, the Oilers have high-quality prospects on defence on the way.