Tracking the Storm

Draft Profile: Oscar Klefbom

Thursday, 06.16.2011 / 9:35 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Draft Profile: Oscar Klefbom
On each weekday between now and the first round of the NHL Entry Draft on June 24, we'll be profiling one of 11 players who could be chosen with the 12th overall pick by Carolina. Today's subject is Swedish defenseman Oscar Klefbom. Previously: Sven Bartschi | Nathan Beaulieu | Jonas Brodin | Sean Couturier Also see: Hurricanes Draft History.
Once pegged to go lower in the draft, Oscar Klefbom’s strong finish has him firmly in the mix for a spot among the draft’s top 15 players.

Paul Branecky
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The Swedish defenseman rocketed through the rankings at the end of the season, with the International Scouting Service most recently placing him at No. 10 overall – a rise of 36 spots from two months earlier. An impressive performance at April’s World Under-18 Championship was a big reason for that, as Klefbom captained his country to a silver-medal finish.

“Over the course of the season there were games when he was pretty good but there were games that left you wanting more,” said Hurricanes Director of Amateur Scouting Tony MacDonald. “He did a lot to alleviate those concerns at the under-18 tournament. He had a tremendous performance, and that did a lot to boost his stock.”

Size has never been a concern for Klefbom, who at 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, tested very well at the combine and could be physically ready for the NHL quite soon. He held his own playing against men in the Swedish Elite League, but unlike Farjestad teammate Jonas Brodin, profiled earlier here, he split the season between the elite level and lower divisions as he continued to refine his game.

“It’s a very good league and it’s tough for young players to come in and get regular ice,” said MacDonald. “He was given a chance to play, but he’s still learning.”

In addition to his physical attributes and better-than-expected mobility, the Hurricanes are high on the leadership intangibles that Klefbom displayed internationally.

“He shows character in how the Swedish federation views him in naming him captain of their under-18 team,” said Jason Karmanos, the Hurricanes’ vice president and assistant general manager.

“He’s a captain that took his role very seriously,” said MacDonald.

Over the course of the season, Klefbom steadily gained a reputation as a tough player for opposing forwards to go up against, reinforcing his profile as a defense-first blue liner. However, even though he scored just 2 points during his 23-game stint with Farjestad, the Hurricanes believe there may me more to his overall game than others give him credit for.

“I would think this is a player that would project more as an all-around defenseman not necessarily classified as offensive or defensive,” said Karmanos.

As is the case with Brodin, whose skills didn’t translate to points while playing against veteran players, where teams fall on Klefbom’s offensive projections will factor heavily into his eventual draft placement. That being said, it should be noted that an eventual lack of offensive production still wouldn’t make him a bad pick.

“Worst-case scenario, he’s a big, strong guy who can play against the other team’s top players,” said MacDonald. “He’s a big, strong man - the kind that every team covets.

“When he achieves his potential, he should be a big, solid, two-way defenseman who can play in your top four for a lot of years.”


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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72