Oscar Klefbom, D Färjestad(Sweden)
Born: July 20, 1993 in Karlstad, Sweden
Strengths: Excellent size and athleticism; will play at 215-220 pounds when he reaches his physical maturity. Very good skater with quick burst, speed and smooth lateral movement and footwork. Powerful leg drive; has a long stride and is strong on his skates. Aggressive, dynamic puck rusher loves to take the puck up ice. Heavy booming slap shot with good release. Effective in puck distribution, especially when on the power play, but a better triggerman because of his big blast. Also possesses a hard wrister that he uses effectively. Loves to shoot the puck from just about anywhere on the ice. Good bodychecker; likes to go for the big hit and plays with gusto along the walls, taking every chance he can to initiate contact. Passionate, exuberant player who brings one of the most outgoing and engaging personalities to the draft class. Speaks excellent English- is easy going yet highly competitive. Carries himself with the confident air of a natural leader. A captain and winner.
Weaknesses: Undisciplined; attacking style lands him in trouble when he pinches at wrong times. Not an overly instinctive player- succeeds because he has size and mobility on his side, but will sometimes run around and try to do too much. Hockey sense may not be good enough for him to reach the production levels his pure talent would allow for. Rough around the edges and has to guard against taking bad penalties, but no major flaws in his game.
StudioFBK video in Swedish on Oscar Klefbom (Even in a different language you get a sense of his charismatic personality)
Klefbom 2011 NHL Scouting Combine interview (exclusive B2011DW video)
Style compares to:Marc Staal (but if he reaches his ceiling, could be a physical Mike Green type)
Draft prediction: With Klefbom's speed, offensive skills and outsized personality, there is no telling where he'll go. Top-15 would seem very likely, but he should not slip much past 20. There is simply too much upside, too much potential for this kid to be on the board very long, and when someone is as talented yet enthusiastic about hockey as he is, it's usually a match made in heaven. He wants badly to play in the NHL and is doing and saying all the right things. One NHL club and its fans are going to be very happy on June 24. Guys with his tools and intangibles tend to surprise when the picks start flying off the board.
Projection: Top-two defenseman with good two-way potential if he continues to play aggressively and shoot the puck like he has. His defense is still a work in progress, but he's a game and willing hitter, which is half the battle sometimes with players of Klefbom's skill set. He has NHL star written all over him, but even if he doesn't reach his impressive possible ceiling, we see Klefbom as a middle-pairing guy and PP specialist at the absolute worst. He's only scratching the surface of what he could become.
Background: Captained Team Sweden's silver medal-winning squad at the April World Under-18 Championships. Played for Swedish Elitserien championship Farjestad (23 games 1-1-2) after splitting the season between the pro club and J20 team. Was not placed on the Farjestad playoff roster. Took penalty in overtime on Rocco Grimaldi which led to Connor Murphy's gold medal-clinching sudden death goal.
If Klefbom had his own soundtrack it would be: "I Just Wanna Run"- The Downtown Fiction
"Wild Hearted Son"- The Cult
"Missed the first three games of the Five Nations tourney with the flu, then came back for the final game and proceeded to show more in one period than any other defenceman at the event."- Red Line Report; March, 2011
"One of the best skaters in this year's draft with great wheels, powerful stride, lateral mobility and quick feet. Very smooth pivots. Excellent backwards skater. Fast and strong enough to carry the puck out of the zone under heavy pressure. Can go end-to-end. Makes fabulous long, lead stretch passes to spring forwards on breakaways and shows touch on short area passes. ...Needs to work on positional play and gets lost in coverage at times."- Red Line Report; May, 2011
"(Oscar's) such a great player and friend. He was the Under-18 captain and he was the perfect captain."- Jonas Brodin to B2011DW; June, 2011
Oscar Klefbom: The Other Big Swedish Defenseman (from Lighthouse Hockey.com)
The Next Ones: Oscar Klefbom (from The Hockey Writers.com)