The Edmonton Oilers have just signed Oscar Klefbom to a 7 year contract extension at a cap hit of $4.167M.
The Oiler fans boys are giddy with excitement and virtually none of them see the downside risks in a signing that didn’t need to occur now and happened with Klefbom having only 77 NHL games on his resume.
Most of the comparables I’ve seen thrown about involved Jonas Brodin ($4.166M cap hit) who has 195 NHL games to his credit and was in the running for the Calder Trophy in his rookie season.
Brodin has been playing top pairing minutes in Minnesota since his rookie season while Klefbom, with the offseason addition of Andrej Sekera, will be a second pairing D in Edmonton.
Now, a $4.167 cap hit for an established second pairing D is certainly not an exorbitant amount but, once again, we need to consider the paltry track record Klefbom brings to the party.
We also need to remember he has an established injury history (he only played 11 games in his final SEL season) including at least one major concussion which leaves him as a significant risk.
But, beyond that, we should take a look at what some of the other puck moving Swedish defensemen are pulling down for salary and cap hit.
For my money, the best of the group is Karlsson, followed by OEL in Arizona, Victor Hedman in Tampa Bay and by emerging offensive superstar John Klingberg in Dallas.
Erik Karlsson – $6.5M
Oliver Ekmann- Larsson $5.5M
John Klingberg – $4.25M
Oscar Klefbom – $4.167M
Adam Larsson – $4.167M
Jonas Brodin – $4.166M
Victor Hedman – $4M
Obviously Klefbom is not in Karlsson’s area code either as a productive NHL defenseman or in cap hit but neither does he hang with this group, with the possible exception of Larsson since Klefbom’s offence will likely take a hit (from a very low bar) now that Sekera is on the Oiler’s roster.
The Oilers are obviously banking on Klefbom developing in a straight line and that gamble paying off by his 7 year contract becoming a bargain down the road.
If I were making that bet, Klefbom would be the last player of the above group that I would push in my chips for.
I want to draw attention to the most cogent post over at Lowetide which exactly sums up this situation: