As a young Swedish defenceman, Oliver Kylington didn’t look far to find a fellow blueliner to look up to.
He made the obvious choice.
"Of course, [Nicklas] Lidstrom; I watched him growing up," Kylington told NHL.com.
His second, however, might be surprising coming from an 18-year-old.
"I've seen some clips of Bobby Orr," he said of the Hockey Hall of Fame member and all-round hockey legend. "I like him. He's a sick player. I try to complement my game with those. They were my idols."
If Orr, selected first-overall in the 1966 NHL Amateur Draft, had been playing in the NHL Central Scouting era, his scouting report would depict a silky smooth defenceman with impeccable speed and skating ability.
It’s not too far off on how many describe Kylington, and while many would stop well short at suggesting there’s a correlation between the two, few would hesitate to call the 6-foot, 185-pound blueliner the best skating prospect on the back end in the 2015 NHL Draft.
It’s a part of his game he takes pride in.
"[I'm a good] skater, can make the good first pass and like to join the rush to make plays in the offensive zone, maybe score some goals," Kylington said. "I try to do it every day. I need to work on that."
Born: May 19, 1997
Hometown: Stockholm, SWE
Position: D (Left Shot)
Team: Farjestad (SHL)
CSS Rank: 6th among European Skaters
FC Rank: 28th overall
ISS Rank: 32nd overall
Patrik Hansen of Future Considerations: “He is a high risk/high reward player who takes chanc- es but is able to create more offence than he allows. His lateral agility and overall mobility is excellent, but he has fallen off this season as there are just too many times he has looked like a liability on the ice. Has the ability to make us scratch our heads in a few years as to why he dropped so low.”
Phil Bohnenblust of International Scouting Service: “A smooth and quick skater, very good acceleration with the puck to skate pucks out of the zone and to start the offensive rush. Lacks some stability gets pushed over sometimes. Tends to completely loose orientation in the defensive zone, but works hard to get back in play once he notices it”.
Goran Stubb of Central Scouting: “Oliver is a very good skater with first-step quickness and fine balance. He’s a two-way defenceman who loves to join the offensive rush. He’s smart, with excellent hockey sense and passing skills, and can read situations very well.”
As a lead-in to the 2015 NHL Draft, CalgaryFlames.com will outline potential targets for the Calgary Flames with the 15th overall pick in the first round on draft day on June 26th.