The Detroit Red Wings organization would like to thank the Minnesota Wild and the City of Minneapolis for their generous hospitality and we'd like to acknowledge the Vancouver Canucks/Boston Bruins for their exemplary diving abilities, potty mouths, and overall terrible goaltending by a certain former Islanders prospect while on the road, as well as their play that led to their Stanley Cup victory that brought the cup back to the True North for the first time in almost 20 years/ended a nearly 40 year drought for the city and fans of Boston. Both teams played valiantly, albeit somewhat outside the rules throughout a wildly entertaining Final series.
Now, without further ado, with the 24th selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, the Detroit Red Wings are proud to select from Eliteserien Champion Färjestads BK Karlstad of the Swedish Elite League...Oscar Klefbom.
THN: 37 (Overall)
ISS: 10 (Overall)
CSS: 6 (European Skaters)
There is no denying this young Swede's attributes and we're quite happy that he has fallen into our laps. At 6'3" 200lbs and still growing, he will become a force to be reckoned with after several years of polishing. Considering that he moved from the J-18 Färjestads team in December to the Eliteserien team and played the remainder of the season against men, his development curve shouldn't be terribly far from being a top 4 blueliner in the NHL.
From what I've found on him, the only knocks on his game are in the defensive zone. His inexperience and positioning in the second half of the SEL season were things that will be ironed out with time. On a puck-possesion style team like the Red Wings, I doubt this will be a shortfall. As they say, you can always teach someone defense and a great technical skating stride, but you can't teach hockey sense, leadership, and offensive skills of which Klefbom has in great supply. On top of all that, his size and strength already allow him to take the body with regularity and he doesn't shy away from corner engagements.
At the World Jr.'s, he captained the Swedish team to a Silver Medal and was voted in the top 3 players on his team by his teammates. With Brian Rafalski having bought the farm and rode off into the sunset of retirement and Nick Lidstrom not far behind him, it's time for the next great scouting miracle pulled off by Detroit's Swedish "super-scout", Håkan Andersson. That is of course considering that the Red Wings might as well be the Swedish National Team because of him.
It was of great debate, even around these parts, where Klefbom would land. Some scouting services had him in the top 12, others as an early second-rounder. I personally doubt he gets out of the first round. With his skills and big body it will be difficult, especially for a team like the Red Wings, to not take a chance on him. With their track record of unearthing absolute monsters from the Draft, especially at forward (Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, Jiri Hudler, Tomas Kopecky, Valtteri Filppula, Johan Franzen, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg are great examples) and then being able to develop those prospects at an even, slow pace, it stands to reason that Klefbom might just be the next great sensation coming out of the organization along with such prospects as Brendan Smith, Ben Marshall, Teemu Pulkkinen, Riley Sheahan and Landon Ferraro.
This draft choice does not come without some deliberation. Detroit's cupboards are practically bare on the wing and they could probably use a couple high-end prospects there. However, in my estimation this is the best fit/best player available according to prospect availability.
Here are some links including our own LHH scouting report:
The views expressed in this FanShot in no way reflect the views of the proprietors of this site. Unless Dom roasts me for the guy I picked. Then at that point whatever I've said above no longer applies. This has been a public service announcement that ye shall heed with all available warning. Thank you for your patience.
Up next is our very own Brian Burke impersonator, Dougtone, with the 25th pick held by the Pension Plan Puppet Toronto Maple Laffs.