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Photo Credit: Simon Hastegård/Bildbyrån

Philip Broberg is an Oilers defenceman

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.

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 [citation needed]. The Athletic’s Corey Pronman projects Broberg as a top-pairing defenceman.

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

Player Season GP PPG
OEL 2008-09 39 0.44
Kylington 2014-15 17 0.41
Andersson 2013-14 43 0.30
Broberg 2018-19 41 0.22
Lindholm 2011-12 20 0.20
Nemeth 2009-10 16 0.19

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.



  • Slick77

    Why would the Oilers want to draft left hand wingers right now? That is pretty much all the Oilers have right now are left hand wingers! So why would we want to add Boldey and Zegras? The Oilers already have a small forward in Yamamoto so no need to add another in Caufield. Also any one of those we won’t see on the Oilers in at least 2 years and by that time who knows what the Oilers needs will be. Also it’s not like wingers are hard to find.
    The way to build a team is from the back end out so when you can you draft the d-man.

  • OnDaWagon

    I like the Broberg pick. He has a bit of edge to his game, as well as mobility. If he need to increase his hockey IQ, they should focus on that. Accept the positives and work on the negatives.

    As for a ying and yang with Bouchard, I don’t agree. If both have above average position and skating skills, split them. After all, there seems to be a few others who are working their way into the lineup conversation.

    Don’t worry. Be Happy 🙂

  • Towers-of-dub

    Is every writer on here going to have a story about this guy? I guess the Lucic for Eriksson stuff has died down this week, so that’s good, but you’d think with 20 guys writing on here there’d be more to talk about.

  • FISTO Siltanen

    If Broberg is the next Victor Hedman I’ll be ecstatic and proceed to eat crow.

    If he’s the next Niklas Hjalmerson I’ll be satisfied.

    Anything less and I’ll be pissed.

    Clock is ticking.

  • CMG30

    Oilers gonna Oil. We’ve cheered for this team for so long now that we should be use to the abuse. As much as some folks want to drink the kool-aid and defend whatever management does, others are just too jaded by this point. The reason that this pick rubs so many folks the wrong way is that they’re tired of having to make excuses for why the team does the things that it does.

    I’ve got nothing against Broburg and I really hope the Oil develop the heck out of him and he becomes a legit top pair D man. No one should doubt that he’s got the tool kit to do it. Problem is that there’s also a non-zero chance that he washes out. This is a high-risk, high-reward gamble and when there’s safer picks on the board it’s only natural that questions should be asked.

    The Oilers telegraphed for so long that they were enraptured by this guy that it’s entirely fair that many people have serious questions about how that first round went down. Folks are seeing shades of the Reinhart situation. Oilers coveted a player, put on the blinders and went for it.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    Biggest issue I think people have with the Brobrg pick is they had a look at who else was still available and wonder why the Oilers didnt take a forward with an emphasis for points, I honestly thought the Oilers would take Zegras, but I dont mind the Broberg pick either because he is creative and can move the puck and pot pucks in the net, now he might not be a prolific point getter but it’s not like he doesnt have the ability.

    Broberg wont see the AHL for at least another year and that is fine I would rather see these kids get developed and not rushed into the league, Holland has a long history of making sure his kids get time to develop. We can speculate all day on whether Broberg will pan out but time will tell and we will all have to wait and see how things shake out

  • No I in Team.

    For what is worth….I think Holland is smarter than even his pundits give him credit for.

    Look at it this way.

    How many D this draft were of Brobergs caliber?

    Salic took Byram.

    Other than that???

    How many forwards of high end possibility? At least 10 times as many say…20? Or even more.

    Lavoi included. Yes??? As a top end forward prospect.

    So… the Oiler end up with a rarety, not just this draft but every draft a potential #1 D, this in Broberg AND a top notch BIG forward.

    What other team got that?

    • DonEnrico

      Spot on!

      And one thing that´s gone a bit unnoticed: He has signed with Skellefteå, so he have trained with Adam Larsson some times. Great opportunity to get some hints about the life in Edmonton and what to expect and also to have some familarity once he gets there

  • Beer

    I think the problem is we as die hard fans are not used to a GM with a plan that doesn’t change with whatever direction the wind is blowing. Holland has a plan, like it or not. I can’t say the same for the previous three GM’s. This time around the dog is wagging it’s own tale/tail so to speak.

  • Spaceman Spiff

    I think this is a good pick and I don’t think it’s particularly a reach, but then again what do I know? I’m not a scout or an NHL GM.

    I think that sometimes gets lost on a lot of us. We’re not hockey people. We’re hockey fans. There’s a huge difference.

    So yeah, if the guy who drafted Lidstrom in the 3rd round, Zetterberg in the 7th and Holmstrom in the 10th goes decides to take a Swedish defenceman a little earlier in the 1st round, I’m not qualified to not be OK with that.

    He’ll be fine. We won’t see him in Edmonton for a while, but when he gets here, he’ll be fine.

  • GP440

    I had a thought. I was thinking to trade Larrson and a 4th pick for Kadri and Connor Brown. Then trade RNH and Jessie for Dougie Hamilton and Julien Gautier? Thoughts? I don’t think the Oilers lose in either trade? And the cap is fairly decent?? Thoughts