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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 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
5 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 76 31 33 12 168 194 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 70 21 28 -12 49
J. Faulk 75 15 32 -17 47
E. Lindholm 74 16 21 -19 37
J. Skinner 70 18 13 -21 31
V. Rask 73 11 20 -12 31
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
N. Gerbe 71 8 17 -13 25
J. McClement 75 7 13 -3 20
A. Nestrasil 47 7 13 4 20
J. Staal 39 4 16 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 20 21 5 .911 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 15 6 .904 2.60