Edmonton Oilers: Ranking Players Trending Up So Far This Season

EDMONTON, AB - DECEMBER 18: Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers skates during the game against the St. Louis Blues on December 18, 2018 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
EDMONTON, AB - DECEMBER 18: Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers skates during the game against the St. Louis Blues on December 18, 2018 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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DENVER, CO – DECEMBER 11: Oscar Klefbom #77 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on December 11, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. The Oilers defeated the Avalanche 6-4. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Fourth Player Trending Up

4.  Oscar Klefbom

It’s too bad Klef has had problems with injuries because otherwise, he’s having an excellent season this year.  He’s rebounded nicely in his own end, going from -12 last year (a year in which he played injured a lot) to a +1 this year, a nice uptick, especially considering as our top d-man he gets a steady diet of the league’s best competition.

Sporting a 0.48 PPG mark (15 points in 31 games so far) that projects out to 39 points and eight goals, which would be a new career high for him (in points, only #2 in career goals in a season).

The best part is his shooting % is only 3.2%, while his career average is 4.1%, which means if he finishes even at his career average that translates out to even more offense.

He’s started to use his booming slap shot a little more (I will thusly refer to it as the Klef-BOMB) and as a result, is developing a reputation as a clutch shooter (2 of his three goals so far on the season have been game-winners).

Sure, Klefbom might not be John Carlson or Brent Burns out there, but he’s a high-quality defenseman who’s able to play a lot of minutes.

In fact, Klefbom is a horse for the Oilers in ice time, 19:44 at evens (2nd on the team), 1:55 on the PK (4th on the team) and 3:46 on the PP (2nd on the team).

Klefbom is a valuable player for this team, and I can’t see them getting rid of him until another noticeable upgrade comes along.  Let’s hope for a speedy recovery, and he picks up where he left off when he comes back from injury.

Although it will be interesting to see what happens when Andrej Sekera comes back from injury, as between Klefbom, Sekera, and Darnell Nurse the Oilers will have 3 top 4 pairing lefty d-men for 2 top 4 positions.

That will be a question we’ll need to answer both for this season and going forward.  It will be difficult to trade any of those players as all three are valuable and needed.