Edmonton Oilers defenceman Oscar Klefbom will likely not play in 2020-21. He is still managing lingering injuries suffered during the 2019-20 regular season and has decided that surgery is the best course of action for regaining health. The official decision came on Tuesday.
Also on today's episode of @OilersNow, President of Hockey Ops & GM Ken Holland tells @Bob_Stauffer he's planning to not have Oscar Klefbom available for the 2020-21 season but nothing is confirmed at this point.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) October 13, 2020
Oscar Klefbom Likely to Miss 2020-21 Season
Klefbom was a huge part of Edmonton’s efforts in the past season. He contributed five goals and 34 points in 62 games in his age-26 season. That is a jump from the five and 28 he posted in 61 games for 2018-19. There was an outside chance that the former first-round pick could set a new career-high in points before the global pandemic halted the regular season. Klefbom managed to contributed two assists during the team’s four postseason games.
The Oilers selected Klefbom 19th overall in the 2011 NHL Draft. The team has watched him steadily grow into the team’s most important defender. His scoring has remained consistent over the last several seasons and his scoring rate went up by almost a full point per game in 2019-20. Klefbom has also been the team’s primary power-play defender for the past four seasons. Replacing his total offensive contributions is a tough task for Edmonton.
What This Means for the Future
There is no official start for the 2020-21 season and that could affect what the team does to address the sudden gap. Darnell Nurse will likely take over primary defender duties depending on how long Klefbom is absent. Nurse scored almost as many points as Klefbom did with five goals and 33 points in 71 games but he is not as complete a player at this stage in his career. His possession numbers are worse but he does compensate with more enthusiastic checking.