When I (via Mr. Eriksson) broke the news to Canada that Klefbom was about to sign his ELC with the Edmonton Oilers it was also said that Klefbom would remain with his Swedish team, Färjestad (not Färjestads with an “s”) BK, for another season. This might be changing.
The reason for this is that the Oilers brass are now trying to convince the young Swede to remain with (and in) Edmonton come 2013/14. And while the signing of Schultz (the younger) led you (well: me) to believe they wouldn’t go with Klefbom this year (two rookie defensemen might not be the best way to go about things) a tremendous rookie camp along with the new coach Kreuger in charge things seem to have changed. According to sources who’ve talked to Klefbom the Oilers have tried to persuade Klefbom, offering him a spot on the Oilers roster with guaranteed ice-time, a guarantee that the highly thought of Schultz didn’t receive (or so they say). Klefbom have yet to make up his mind, saying “it’s obviously a lucrative offer” that “makes you think” but “nothing is decided yet and I’ve asked them for more time to make a final decision”.
It’s a bit surprising but then again, maybe it isn’t. Stauffer did hint about Klefbom being miles ahead of the rest of the D-prospects (and that’s usually a good tell) and the Oilers web team seem to want to make Klefbom possibly coming over a bigger story than it perhaps should’ve been (seeing Klefbom earlier had said he would remain in Sweden). Personally I believe that Klefbom would be able to make the jump, in a lesser role, but he’s a very mature young guy indeed. I’d say he’s more “NHL-ready” than say Murray, I’d also say Klefbom would have gone higher than Murray had he been 2 months younger (and perhaps that says something?) - told you when we drafted him and I’m saying it again - Klefbom at #19 was a steal.
The Färjestad “GM” (well, sort of) didn’t know anything about the Oilers trying to lure Klefbom to cross the pond earlier than said and he remains confident that Klefbom did do well during the rookie camp but would stay in Sweden, get a bigger role with his team and seize the opportunity to represent Tre Kronor (Team Sweden), with that said - Färjestad did sign a Finnish defenseman, pretty much out of the blue, just the other day but maybe that’s reading too much into things..
It’s still up in the air and I suppose it’s all about what’s best for the development of the player and the organization as whole. I’m guessing most would say another year in the SEL (or even in the AHL) would be best and they might very well be right. But I believe that Klefbom wouldn’t make Kreuger (or even Tambo) look dumb for playing his as soon as this coming season. Then again - guaranteed ice-time is never, at least in my book, a good thing. Earn it.
Yeah, wouldn’t really call it an update but HockeySverige made a brief addition to the Klefbom story where Klefbom have told ‘em today that he’s “leaning towards staying with Färjestad” as he feels that staying in Sweden for another year would probably benefit his development more than risking to take a leap over the pond too early. Which basically means that the Oilers still want him to come over, Klefbom is still undecided but the ball is very likely with him.