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Tracking the Storm

Draft Profile: Oscar Klefbom

Thursday, 06.16.2011 / 9:35 AM / 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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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 65 41 18 6 175 146 88
2 NYI 66 42 21 3 211 185 87
3 TBL 66 40 20 6 217 173 86
4 NYR 63 39 17 7 197 155 85
5 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
6 PIT 63 36 18 9 182 158 81
7 WSH 66 35 21 10 194 164 80
8 BOS 63 31 22 10 168 165 72
9 FLA 65 28 23 14 159 185 70
10 PHI 65 28 25 12 173 187 68
11 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 65 26 34 5 175 199 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 62 12 28 -18 40
E. Staal 57 18 20 -12 38
E. Lindholm 61 11 16 -18 27
J. Skinner 57 16 10 -17 26
N. Gerbe 58 7 16 -10 23
R. Nash 59 7 15 -10 22
V. Rask 60 8 12 -16 20
J. McClement 62 6 13 3 19
J. Staal 26 4 12 -4 16
A. Nestrasil 34 4 11 4 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 17 20 4 .911 2.43
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .905 2.61