Position: D | Height: 6'3" | Weight: 201 lbs. | Team: Farjestad (SEL)
GP: 23 |G: 1 |P: 2 | Midterm Rank: 33| Final Rank (ISS): 10
As Jonas Brodin's defence partner with Farjestad of the SEL, Oscar Klefbom is another Swedish defender available in this year's Draft that is projected to make an impact at the next level.
Klefbom appeared in 23 games with Farjestad this past season, but much like Brodin, his value isn't in the points he accumulates. At 6'3", one of Klefbom's best assets is his size and the physical presence that he brings to the game, as described by The Scouting Report's Scott Campbell:
The Swede is a very mobile player who has a nice technical stride and has the strength to fight through checks with his combination of speed and power. With the puck, Klefbom has a calming presence on the ice and makes good decisions with the puck. Is a capable puck mover when he has the opportunity but also knows when to use the glass or the boards to clear the puck out.
...Competes hard and can make life difficult for opposing forwards with his tenacity and willingness to engage physically. Klefbom could benefit from some temperance as he is prone to making undisciplined plays, but it’s difficult to tone him down too much without negating that aspect of his game.
While Klefbom has the physical compete level that Brodin might lack, there are also question marks surrounding his potential offensive upside at the NHL level, but don't tell him that:
"I think I'm a two-way defender. I'm good in the D-zone and good in the offensive zone. I can fill it up and help the forwards get the puck into the net. You always can improve your shot and be better, but I think I have good opportunities to get good in both zones."
"Of course I take risks, but it also depends on who you play with … I can do that with Jonas,"
The defenceman led the Swedish U-18 team to a silver medal at the World Championships and compiled five points and a +4 rating in six games, leading all defenders on his team in shots on goal with 24, and Klefbom's passion for the game and Leadership(!) abilities have also caught the attention of scouts around the League.
Nobody can speak to that better than Brodin; "He's strong and a good skater. Everyone knows he [Klefbom] has leadership skills since he was captain of the U-18 team at the World Championship … and he was a good leader," he told NHL.com.
Selecting defencemen in the first round of the Draft is almost always risky unless you're choosing a known commodity--which is a rare occurrence. Spending a mid-round pick on a player like Klefbom, who has limited experience at a high level in the SEL's Elitserien is even more of a risk--an opinion shared by Lighthouse Hockey's David Hanssen, who put together an excellent profile on the defender earlier this month.
Hanssen also raises the point the Klefbom did not play in the playoffs for Farjestad while Brodin played all 14 games, which could speak to which player the coaching staff feels more comfortable with in pressure situations.
From the information I've gathered on both players, I think I'd rather have Brodin if the Flames insist on choosing a defenceman, although both players are high-risk with unknown ceilings.