#15 Oliver Kylington
Team: Stockton Heat
Drafted: 60th Overall in 2015 (Round 2)
Last Year: 9th
Oliver Kylington comes in at #15 on our Top 25 Under 25. It's a drop from his #9 position last year, but that really has more to do with an influx of some new players and some tremendous play from some of the players previously ranked below him.
Personally, I am a big fan of Kylington and had him ranked higher than everyone else on our squad, but I understand why there is apprehension to putting a lot of faith in the player. He play a high risk, high reward game. He will look terrific or terrible, sometimes on the same shift.
The thing is, he has the sort of natural talent that most hockey players will never have. His skating and offensive ability are high end. It is his decision making that needs improvement and thankfully, that is a coachable entity.
The Flames managed to get Kylington straight into the AHL as an 18-year-old after drafting him, which is beneficial on multiple levels. Kylington is able to develop in the North American style game, where he has less space than he had when he played in Europe. Secondly, the Flames are able to monitor his development closely and help build him into the NHLer they think he can be. Finally, he is just a quick call up away from the NHL, a good way to keep a talented player motivated.
He is coming along nicely too. After a respectable rookie season as the youngest player in the AHL, he took a nice step forward as a sophomore. Still one of the youngest players in the league, he posted 27 points in 60 games, very impressive for an AHL defender. Quotes from the Flames' organization indicate that they are seeing improvement in his play outside of the offensive aspect of the game too.
Due to when he signed and the fact he only played 1 NHL game, Kylington's Entry-Level Contract has slid twice already. So he already has 2 full seasons of AHL development and his ELC is only starting this upcoming season. He has a lot of runway to continue developing in the Flames system whether it be in the AHL or the NHL. With how much depth the Flames currently have on defense, they can easily bring Kylington along in a sheltered role to transition him into the NHL in the next couple of years.
All we can really hope for this season from Kylington is another year of growth. He is a strong prospect with a tonne of potential. If he can keep pushing forward year by year, he could be an impact NHLer down the road.