The latest NHL trade rumors suggest the Edmonton Oilers are showcasing Oscar Klefbom for a trade
Not much has gone right for the Edmonton Oilers this season. This has especially been true on the defensive side of things. Not only is goaltender Cam Talbot having a sub-par year after having an outstanding season in 2016-17, defenseman Oscar Klefbom has been struggling. It’s gotten to the point where he’s been the subject of some NHL trade rumors.
On Tuesday night’s Hockey Central, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman gave his insight into the situation.
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Let’s be clear here. Friedman is speculating about the Oilers showcasing Klefbom for a trade. And it’s pretty reasonable speculation. Following Occam’s Razor, which suggests the simplest answer to a problem is the correct way to go, why else would Edmonton be playing a player who is clearly hurt when this season is a lost cause?
Klefbom is a very good player who happens to be hurt. He hasn’t looked anything like himself from last season when he was one of the best young defensemen in the NHL. Most of his disappointing play is due to two factors. First, the injury. Secondly, the team around him.
Last season, Klefbom had a career-high 38 points (12 goals and 26 assists) during the regular season with a plus-minus rating of +7. In the playoffs, he added five points in 12 games. This season, Klefbom has four goals and 14 assists for 18 points along with a plus-minus rating of -11 (as of March 7).
Keep in mind, Friedman mentioned players have noticed the Oilers defenseman has been favoring his shoulder. Klefbom’s shots lack the mustard they did last season and his shoulder injury is probably the biggest reason why.
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Last season, at even-strength, the Oilers had a 9.6 percent shooting percentage and a 90.9 save percentage with Klefbom on the ice. This year, Edmonton is converting on just 7.8 percent of their shots and saving just 89.1 percent of their shots against. Not to mention their power play has run dry.
It’s baffling why the Oilers are playing Klefbom at all when he’s clearly injured. As insane as it might sound, Friedman’s speculation that Edmonton is showcasing for a trade might be the answer that makes the most sense. If this is the case, it will be another red mark on general manager Peter Chiarelli’s permanent record.
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After this season, the Oilers aren’t getting fair value for Klefbom in a trade. Optimally, you don’t want to trade an asset when their value is as low as it can get. Sometimes you’re forced to. But trading an excellent defenseman like Klefbom because of reasons that are largely beyond his control would be a horrible move.
For updated NHL Trade Rumors, check out our Rumors page!