Edmonton’s younger protection prospects are getting nearer to primetime
Prime 2019 draft choose Philip Broberg acquired into his first key motion with the group in exhibition play towards Calgary and the child has a vibrant future forward of him. Fortunately for Edmonton, he is not alone.Wayne Gretzky (left) and Philip Broberg|Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY SportsThe Edmonton Oilers kicked off their Return to Play event Tuesday evening with a win over archrival Calgary and whereas it was solely an exhibition sport, it was a chance for the Oilers to see what they had been working with. And never simply now, however sooner or later as properly.
With defenseman Caleb Jones banged up, coach Dave Tippett introduced in rookie Philip Broberg because the group’s seventh defenseman. Broberg was Edmonton’s first choice within the 2019 draft, going eighth general after which heading again to Sweden, the place he performed all season within the SHL for Skelleftea.
“We talked about all the opposite defensemen we’ve and Broberg is the one man in our camp who hasn’t performed an NHL sport,” Tippett mentioned. “If we acquired all the way down to a scenario the place we thought we wanted him, I might quite his first expertise be an exhibition sport. With a younger participant like that, you possibly can see a few of that tonight. He’s an actual aggressive child and he skates very properly however the sport strikes fast on the market. It was good to see him get his toes moist, however he’s a younger participant. He’s acquired nice upside.”
Broberg performed a little bit greater than 11 minutes within the sport towards Calgary, which is a pleasant begin for a child who simply turned 19 a month in the past. Pondering that he’ll merely stroll proper onto Edmonton’s top-six could be hasty, however that upside that Tippett talked about is tantalizing.
Already 6-foot-Three and 200 kilos, Broberg’s measurement and skating give him the prospect to turn out to be a mini-Victor Hedman if he develops to his potential, which might clearly be an enormous boon for the Oilers. We already know that Edmonton has two of essentially the most elite forwards within the sport with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, each of whom helped the Oilers put collectively one of the best energy play within the league this season.
However protection is an space the franchise has wanted to enhance on for years and it seems like we’re starting to see the fruits of these labors. Whereas Tippett went with Broberg for the exhibition sport towards the Flames, his different choices included Evan Bouchard and William Lagesson. Bouchard, one other Oilers first-rounder, is a deft passer with a pleasant two-way sport, whereas the 24-year-old Lagesson is a hard-hitting blueliner who has already logged some respectable AHL expertise and performed eight NHL video games. Toss in Jones and breakout rookie Ethan Bear and also you’ve acquired a pleasant array of younger gamers who can quickly assist increase and even exchange present heavy-lifters equivalent to Oscar Klefbom, Adam Larsson and Darnell Nurse (Larsson turns into an unrestricted free agent in the summertime of 2021, as does veteran Kris Russell, who’s already 33 years outdated). And with Tippett on the helm, you understand the blueliners are going to be taught the construction they should succeed.
As soon as the playoffs have ended, Broberg will return to Sweden, the place he’s slated to play the 2020-21 season within the SHL as soon as once more with Skelleftea. It’s a sensible transfer by Oilers GM Ken Holland, as Broberg can have extra out there ice time and an even bigger function on the Swedish facet (and based mostly on how totally different the NHL and SHL schedules shall be subsequent season, he might return to North America and see motion as soon as his Skelleftea duties are achieved). Broberg may even nonetheless be eligible for the 2021 world juniors – assuming they’re not cancelled – which occur to be hosted by Edmonton and Purple Deer. Broberg was superb for the Swedes on the 2020 world juniors, taking part in a shutdown function on a Swedish group that received bronze.
The Oilers have already got a number of the parts essential to turn out to be Stanley Cup contenders, however as gamers equivalent to Broberg mature, the group shall be much more well-rounded. And that’s a scary thought for the remainder of the NHL.
Tags: prospects, edmonton oilersConnect: Concerning the AuthorRyan KennedyRyan Kennedy is the affiliate senior author and draft/prospect skilled at The Hockey Information. He has been with the publication since 2005 and in that span, Don Cherry, Lil Jon and The Rock have all referred to as his home. He lives in Toronto together with his spouse and children the place he listens to loud music and collects NCAA pennants.