Welcome back to another edition of Throwback Thursday!
This week in 2011 (June 24), the Edmonton Oilers had a fantastic first-round drafting Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Oscar Klefbom in the first round.
The Oilers selected Nugent-Hopkins first overall from the Red Deer Rebels where in two seasons he scored 177 points in 141 games. His draft year was wildly impressive when the center notched 75 assists and 106 points in 69 games.
He joined the Oilers immediately and had a massive impact in the 2011-12 campaign. There, he scored 18 goals and 52 points in 62 games losing out on the Calder trophy to fellow draftee Gabriel Landeskog, who scored an equal amount of points in 82 games. (As an aside, we need to have a conversation about that trophy)
Nugent-Hopkins, famously known as The Nuge, has gone on to have a long and successful nine years with the Oilers. Over 604 games, he’s scored 169 goals and 443 points in 604 games. The last two seasons have been the best among his career as he’s posted two 60-point seasons scoring 130 points in 147 games.
Also taken in that first round was Oscar Klefbom, who the Oilers selected 19th overall. Edmonton acquired that pick when the club traded Dustin Penner to the L.A. Kings.
Klefbom’s come up to the NHL was a little slower than that of his draftmate. He returned to Sweden playing two more seasons in the Swedish Hockey League before joining the Oilers on a part-time basis in 2013-14. That year he played only 17 games in the NHL scoring one goal and two assists also getting 48 AHL games with then affiliate Oklahoma City Barons scoring 10 points.
In 2014-15, he got his break with the Oilers dressing in 60 games scoring 18 assists and 20 points. Since his draft year, he’s played seven years for the Oilers and has become a consistent rock on the teams backend. In 378 games. Klefbom has scored 122 assists and 156 points. This year he was on pace for his best statistical season in the league having scored 34 points in 62 games before COVID-19 ravished the world.
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