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Oliver Kylington is another in a long line of Super Swedish defencemen. He has been playing against men. He has spent time with Farjestad in the SHL, the highest level of Swedish hockey, and with AIK in the Allvenskan. He has played big minutes and put up good offensive numbers for his age with 12 points in 53 games across the two leagues. Even more incredible is the fact that he was a regular with Farjestad down the stretch last season, at just 16 years old. While an injury unfortunatately kept Kylington out of the World Juniors, he has played for Sweden at the Ivan Hlinka tournament where he was very impressive. He spent 10 games with Farjestad’s J20 team, and scored seven points. Kylington is now playing for Sweden’s Under 18 team in the IIHF Under 18 World Championships.
Defense — shoots Left
Born May 19 1997 — Stockholm, Sweden
Height 6.00 — Weight 180 [183 cm/82 kg]
An outstanding skater, Oliver Kylington can rush the puck and get back into position defensively. He has an excellent stride, which gives him great speed and acceleration in both directions. Excellent agility, edge work, and pivots give him the mobility to cover all areas of the ice and to walk the line on the powerplay in order to open up passing and shooting lanes. Kylington must add lower body strength and improve his balance, as he can get knocked around in battles for the puck in the corners and while fighting for position front of the net. He seems a bit skinny out there on the ice at times.
Oliver Kylington shows good passing skills and excellent vision. He has an outstanding first pass, and is very capable at making the long seem pass to spring forwards for breakaways. He has the puck handling skill and shows the poise to skate the puck out of danger in his own zone, to lead the rush, and to quarterback plays from the point on the powerplay. His shot could use some increased power, and again that could come from adding more pounds to his frame. However he has the ability to get his shot through to the net, to avoid shot blocks, and to keep things low and give teammates opportunities for deflections and rebounds. He is also very good at the “slap pass”. Kylington also has a very good wrist shot and a lightning quick release.
Defensively Oliver Kylington’s game relies on strong positioning, and a quick stick to take the puck off opponents and start the transition game. He maintains excellent gap control and is tough to beat one on one. He is able to intercept passes, break up plays, and quickly start the transition game. The big concern here again goes back to his strength and balance as he is often overwhelmed by bigger, more physical forwards in the corners and in front of the net, and can have some problems with containment in the cycle game. He isn’t the type to throw a big hit.
Oliver Kylington has a ton of natural skill, but there are also some big question marks surrounding his ability to succeed defensively against bigger forwards in North America. He could be a top two defenceman for a team in the NHL and an important part of their powerplay if he develops and reaches his ceiling. Kylington’s game is reminiscent of fellow Swedish defenceman Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators. That is not a talent comparison, but just a stylistic one.
Below are some videos of Oliver Kylington in action.
Come back tomorrow for the #19 prospect on my list.