Oilers newcomer Joakim Nygard skating with Oscar Klefbom

One of the Edmonton Oilers’ longest-tenured players is getting an up-close and personal look at one of the teams newest acquisitions.

Spending his summer in his hometown Karlstad, Sweden, Oilers defenceman Oscar Klefbom is skating with a group of NHL’ers including Marcus Johansson, Joel Eriksson Ek, Rasmus Asplund, Jacob De La Rose, and longtime friend Jonas Brodin.

Included in that group is newly signed Oilers F Joakim Nygard.

“He’s working out with us and he’s on the ice with us. He looks really good on the ice,” Klefbom told EdmontonOilers.com. “He’s going to be very fun to see and I’m interested to see how he handles the smaller ice, the speed, and the competition part of it because it’s very different.

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“I just remember when I came over and I played at that time in Edmonton and Oklahoma City. It’s a big adjustment, but it’s going to be very interesting to see how he handles that because I think he’s one of those players who we really need in the team right now. He brings a lot of speed and he’s crazy explosive.”

A nice compliment from Klefbom, to say the least, for a player who is quite unknown. Despite being coveted by the Calgary Flames and up to 20 other teams, Nygard chose the Oilers.

The pair played together for parts of two seasons in the early 2010’s, too.

Last year, Nygard played 52 games with the SHL’s Farjestads BK Karlstad scoring 35 points (21G, 14A) in 2018-19 which ranked him third on the team. His goal total, however, was good enough for second in the league behind Blue Jackets’ prospect Emil Bemstrom who finished his year with 23.

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His NHLe equates to 31 points, which would be a nice addition to the Oilers wings.

Klefbom saying Nygard brings a lot of speed and is crazy explosive is what many want to hear, given the lack thereof last season. Nygard is only on a one-year deal paying him $925,000, so there really is no risk in the signing.

On Twitter: @zjlaing

  • OriginalPouzar

    I will have to stop short of pencilling him anywhere in the top 6, however, from all accounts, that speed is real and his PK abilities high. If he can adjust, he could be an asset at 3LW or, more likely, 4LW (Gralund/Archibal as 3rd line wingers).

    Speed, energy and tenacity the forecheck on the 4th line are key to helping keep the puck in the offensive zone and not losing momentum created by the higher lines.

    He’s got some skill so maybe he can pot 10 or so in the bottom 6.

  • Bond 0097

    He will be a welcome addition in the bottom 6 and who knows what his limit will be after he adjusts to the NA game. Good luck and welcome to Edmonton, make us proud!!!

  • Hemi

    The Oil just may have some players that could actually change the fortunes of this team to actually make it into the playoffs this year. The cupboards are looking not too shabby compared to several years back. If he is able to adjust to the N/A surface, a nice little addition to 3/4 line.

    • Bond 0097

      It’s a lot easier to transition from the big ice to NHL rinks if you were already one of the fastest guys on the big ice. I agree for the first time in a long time it looks like we may actually have enough depth to hang in at least past the first round of injuries anyway. Let’s hope we avoid that fate…

  • Kevwan

    I don’t think it’s fair to expect much from Nygard , Haas or Persson at least to start the season. A month or 2 in the AHL to adjust seems reasonable.

    In my mind the Bakersfield kids from last year should be closer to contributing in October than the new Euros.

  • hagar

    Sure is a lot happening this year.

    Its obviously yet to be seen if we are finally on the correct path, but it is promising that the new guys in charge have been changing things and bringing in players like crazy.
    We all know the past 20 recipes haven’t worked, nice to see someone that knows what a good team looks like, is loading the team up with as much change as possible that they think can help.

    I and lots others can walk into a job and see all the mistakes the previous people have made. I would imagine a competant gm has the same ability. Things probably dont make sense all over the place when you come into a team like the Oilers.

  • Kevwan

    Wouldn’t it make sense for Nygard to be in North America training this summer? Things like setting up a home, getting a drivers license, learning to navigate the city, etc. I know it’s the athlete’s choice but it would take away the off ice adjustments so when camp starts he’d only have to worry about hockey. If he was on the smaller ice training that would help with the hockey transition as well.

  • Big Nuggets

    I think Holland is envisioning a 4th line with Haas and Nygard togethet creating more of a puck posession and skilled line. I know Kassian needs another look with McDavid but if that doesn’t work he might add a nice element on a line with Nygard and Haas.

  • Spaceman Spiff

    Unpopular hot take: Although I think it can be overdone, I’d have no problem with advertising on NHL jerseys. Remove two or three of the ads from the jersey that Nygard’s wearing in the photo for this story and I’d be OK with that.