#Oilers GM & President of Hockey Ops Ken Holland tells @Bob_Stauffer on @OilersNow defenceman Oscar Klefbom is officially out for the 2020-21 season & is hoping to be ready for the start of the 2021-22 campaign.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) December 21, 2020
Oscar Klefbom Out for 2020-21 Season
During the past season, Klefbom scored five goals and 29 assists for 34 points in 62 games played. The defenceman was drafted by the Oilers in the first round, 19th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Over his seven-year career, the 27-year-old player has scored 34 goals and 122 assists for 156 points in 378 career games. Klefbom is one of the leaders for minutes played with the Oilers. He has averaged over 20 minutes per game every year since becoming a regular on the Oilers defence group back in 2014-15.
What This Means for the Future
Klefbom is a key player in the defensive system for Edmonton. The veteran was paired with multiple young players and produced. Having him paired with Tyson Barrie would be great for the team defensively and offensively. With Klefbom out for the season, the Oilers might need to count more on Barrie than they first intended to.
The team should look for another defenceman before training camp starts. With a question mark on Ethan Bear’s name and with Klefbom out, it would be the wiser decision to make. Edmonton has to stop blindly counting on their top liners and start building a good defence system. They already have a few of the best forwards in the league. It is time to improve their blueline.
With Klefbom likely hitting the LTIR, it will give the Oilers some cap relief to get Bear under contract. As well as potentially bring in another defender. However, there is also a chance Evan Bouchard could crack the lineup, giving the Oilers some options.
Ken Holland also announced that the forward Gaetan Haas will miss the start of training camp due to the exposure to a positive COVID-19 case. The GM commented on Ethan Bear’s contract and seemed hopeful the team and the defenceman will come to an agreement before training camp starts.