As I continue to write about SEL prospects coming up on June 24th-25th in the NHL Entry Draft, the rankings have been what they were expected to be...volatile. This is a draft where an individual teams' rankings will matter the most. I wouldn't be surprised if one guy slides heavily down the draft board, and some early pre-favourites from the first round slip out. I've talked about Adam Larsson, Jonas Brodin, and although he doesn't play in the Elitserien, my love for Gabriel Landeskog. Back to the topic...
The ISS Rankings have put moderate Swedish defenseman Oscar Klefbom 10th overall in their recent rankings. A surprise even to me, although I do see him going in the Top 20 of this year's draft. Klefbom's strengthis his defensive game. He's able to play the body well and possesses great balance with the puck. What I mean with that is he will pass the puck at the right opportunity, but also likes to play around with it a bit. He plays on the same pairing as Jonas Brodin, on the recent SEL Champions Farjestad.
What strikes me about him is how quick he learns from his team-mates. He played the latter half of this past season in the big leagues, joining them from the J20 League. I got to see him in his 4th and 10th game with Farjestad (I believe, numbers may be a bit off), and the difference was massive. 4thgame he was a bit indecisive, looked nervous, hesitant with the puck, but obviously to the tools were there. 10th game he looked like a new player. Main defensive cog on that team, set up his team-mates, and also communicating with his goalie (Alex Salak).
What I'm saying about Klefbom is that one General Manager is going to take a gamble on him in the first 20 (or later) picks. And it will be worth it, for a guy I would compare to Braydon Coburn. Big, responsible, and has some offensive game. The difference I see between him and Joans Brodin is that Brodin, while he will need time to develop, can jump into the NHL quicker. Klefbom will need more time, like a project, and will need patience from the team who drafts him. He already weighs 201 pounds, which is more than Erik Karlsson although younger than Erik.
Any team that will draft him will be lucky. He's a great player, with great upside. I would love it if Ottawa took him, yet they may not for 2 reasons. One, unless Bryan Murray trades up, he in most likely cases will be gone by Pick 21. Two, Ottawa's need has become more at offense than defense with a stockpile of defensive prospects at helm, although I think it would be alright if they took a D with the Nashville pick.
To everyone, enjoy your weekend. I hope to write soon about Mike Zibanejad(cool story with him, actually) and Victor Rask. Likely I'll do my second and final mock draft a week before the actual draft happens. Till then, Farvall, and Go Canucks.