#11 - Oliver Kylington
Team: Calgary Flames (NHL)
Drafted in 2015, 2nd Round, Pick 60
Last Year’s Ranking: #16
Prior to this season, Oliver Kylington had played just 1 game in the NHL, although he’s been playing in the AHL since his 18 year old season in 2015-16. After being sent down relatively late in camp, Kylington started his season on fire in Stockton posting 7 goals and 14 points in 18 games.
He made his season debut for the Flames on November 25th, and played nearly every game until mid-February. Kylington and Rasmus Andersson formed an impressive rookie third pairing over that period, with both young Swedes learning quickly. Kylington, known throughout his entire career as an offensive defenceman, didn’t disappoint in his first major NHL stint.
Despite playing exclusively third pairing minutes and no powerplay time, Kylington posted 3 goals and 8 points over 38 games, including scoring goals in back to back games in January. Kylington’s smooth skating, transitional passing, and knack at getting shots on net transitioned well to the NHL. His biggest question mark, the defensive side of his game, was not overly problematic most nights, as he was a +3 over the course of his season.
However, despite having been the Flames every day third pairing left side guy, Kylington was replaced by trade deadline acquisition Oscar Fantenberg. He would see only 3 more regular season games, and no playoff games the rest of the season. His occasional defensive lapses and lack of physciality clearly dropped him out of favour with Bill Peters, who elected to run with the less skilled, but meaner Fantenberg.
Kylington was also rumoured to have been part of a potential deal for Mark Stone at the deadline, and the fact that that deal never materialized could mean the Flames still have a plan for him. With Michael Stone being bought out, and TJ Brodie likely to be traded this off-season, Kylington will be right back in the thick of earning a top 6 spot this season.
He will be an RFA at the end of this season for the first time.
What do you think of Kylington’s final ranking?
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