For those of you who follow me on Twitter (@dohfOs) you’ll know by now that the Swedish prospect Oscar Klefbom did receive a phone call from the Tre Kronor head coach Pär Mårts (who calls Klefbom the next big thing in Swedish hockey) to finally make his debut this week with the Swedish national team. It was meant to be sort of a tryout ahead of Worlds after a excellent ending to the season by Klefbom whom throughout the playoffs was matched against the other teams top-scorers, but by the look of things - it just wasn’t meant to be. Klefbom is once again out, this time a Charley horse got in the way, nothing serious but he won’t be playing with the grown-ups this time around.
But as bad news as that might have been for the young Swede, as good is the other. My friend over at Värmlands Folkblad (“VF”, local paper of Karlstad), Johan Eriksson, revealed that Oilers GM, Steve Tambellini, had gone over to Stockholm, Sweden, to meet up with Oscar and finalize his first deal that will make him an Oiler-lock, a three-year entry-level contract with the Oilers.
Oscar Klefbom will however remain in Sweden for one more season but is looking to come over to Edmonton for at least one camp this coming season.
Eriksson of VF had a chat with Klefbom about the meeting with Oilers GM (freely translated by myself).
Klefbom on the meeting with Steve Tambellini..
- I was a little nervous at first (when meeting up with Tambellini), a bit afraid that he would only put up a plan for my future should look like. But he asked rather a lot of questions about how the season has been, how it looks in Färjestad next year and how I felt about myself, the whole situation, both personally and in terms of hockey. (Signing a contract with the Oilers) is a major thing. NHL has always been the biggest dream for me and the fact they want to sign to a contract now is a proof that they are satisfied with me.
On the next season..
- I explained to him (Tambellini) that I really enjoy working here and what the situation looks like in Färjestad, when Frögren, Sevc and Berglund disappears, it favours me. I’m going up a few notches. We agreed that I would stay another year here (in Sweden, with Färjestad), it will do me good, there’s no stress. Edmonton want me to go over to a camp so I that I will feel more like a part of the team and get to meet all the big stars like Taylor Hall and the others. We’ll see when it gets, it also depends on what Färjestad allows me to do. The club has some real big stars emerging at once and also got a new first choice in the draft this summer. I feel like the timing signing with them and going over there will be perfect, Klefbom smiles.
Klefbom have earlier on stated that he’s no stranger to spending time in the AHL but believes he’s better of playing big minutes and getting even more responsibility with Färjestad, which is more than likely to happen coming into 2012/13. Next year he will be eligible to play in the WJC again, he will play a big part, not only with Färjestad but also in national tournaments with Tre Kronor. All in all this seems to be a very wise decision from both parties. Klefbom is now set to be an Oiler but his contract won’t start ticking until next year. From what I’ve seen of Klefbom this season he could very well have made Oilers straight out of training camp this fall but one more year will, just as he put it himself, do him good. Looking at his success during WJC translating his game to the smaller rink doesn’t seem like a big issue (although the quality of competition is obviously harder in the NHL, duh).
Something tells me I was right last summer, shortly after Klefbom was picked, when I wrote..
Both Brodin and Klefbom comes from the ultimate Swedish winning culture and with Klefbom being the bigger one (size-wise) it’s more or less the ultimate pick for the Oilers. Klefbom is an ace. Not only am I happy we didn’t pick Larsson, I’m also thrilled we ended up with Klefbom, not only is Stu a magnificent bastard, the pick itself is equally magnificent and I for one wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up being a future fan-favorite among Oil-fans.
..I still stand by those words.