A little bit of Edmonton Oilers news in this stalemate that is the COVID-19 outbreak. According to Jim Matheson of Postmedia, the club has told their 2019 first-round draft pick to remain in Sweden for the 2020-21 season.
Philip Broberg, selected 8th overall last June, played 45 games in the SHL with Skelleftea AIK. He registered eight points (1 g, 7 a) while playing in one of the best leagues in Europe. Broberg, as an 18-year-old, averaged around 14 minutes a night for Skelleftea.
This is significant for a couple of reasons. One, it proves that Ken Holland is going to bring his prospects along slowly and will not rush them to the NHL. Two, it means Broberg is likely at least two seasons away now. He’s going to need at least half a season in the AHL to adapt to North American hockey and the lifestyle. Think of the path that Evan Bouchard took this season in Bakersfield with the Condors.
It also shows what Edmonton’s plan might be moving forward on defense. Bouchard has played two seasons after being drafted by the club and is likely to challenge for a spot in training camp, whenever that happens. That would leave the club with a core defensive group of Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse, Ethan Bear and Bouchard in the top four. Caleb Jones, another left-shot defenseman, has also established himself as a strong young piece on defense.
If Broberg needs a season in the AHL, he could be ready to go for the 2022-23 season. Nurse’s contract ends on June 30th, 2022. Perhaps the Oilers have a plan to walk Broberg right into the lineup with the big club? It’s an option that GM Ken Holland now has.
Stay safe my friends.