There is a lot to like about Swedish defenseman Oscar Klefbom's game, but his off-ice persona is icing on the cake.
The big (6-4), fast and skilled defenseman is like a snarly Mike Green- he loves the rush the puck, but he also likes to hit and play aggressively. At this stage, Klefbom is undisciplined- he doesn't have the best defensive awareness and will get to running around trying to do too much, but any team who can harness his aggressivenss and willingness to shoot the puck from just about anywhere has a winner on their hands.
B2011DW talked to Jonas Brodin, who is Klefbom's Farjestad and Under-18 teammate. Brodin and Klefbom are close friends, but also a real study in contrasts. Brodin plays an in control and cerebral game with a quiet almost shy demeanor, while Klefbom is a wild, untamed colt who gushes with enthusiasm and effervescence.
But Brodin didn't have any problems coming out of his shell to describe Klefbom. "He's such a great player and friend," Brodin told B2011DW. "He was the Under-18 captain and he was the perfect captain."
Unfortunately, Klefbom also took the OT penalty on Rocco Grimaldi, which led to Connor Murphy's gold medal-winning goal. But another way to look at it is if Klefbom doesn't hook Grimaldi down on his way to the Sweden net, maybe Rocco finishes the play off and Sweden loses anyway.
Regardless, we think there is an NHL team who recognizes Klefbom's pure size, offensive upside and character and is just waiting to pounce. Early.
Klefbom was easily one of the most memorable and engaging characters at the 2011 NHL Scouting Combine. He's got a real lust for life (h/t to Iggy & the Stooges) and we can just sense that the fans of the NHL team who takes a chance on this guy are going to instantly fall in love with him.
You be the judge. And, check out his reaction when asked about shooting the puck. This kid is the real deal.