D (Left Shot)Team:
Farjestad (Sweden)CSS Rank:
6th among International skaters
NHL Central Scouting had Oliver Kylington has their top-ranked International skater in January. The Swedish defenceman may have slipped down to sixth in the final rankings, but he is still one of the more intriguing defensive prospects in the 2015 NHL Draft because of his skill set.
In 2013-14, Kylington had 21 points (5-16-21) in 21 games for Farjestad’s junior team. He came into the 2014-15 season with high expectations.
Kylington began this season with Farjestad in the Swedish Hockey League. However, he was loaned to second-division team AIK in Allsvenskan, and then returned to Farjestads before finishing the season with their junior team. His draft-year challenges also included a mid-season injury that kept him from playing for Sweden’s U20 team at the 2015 World Junior Championship.
Regardless of his struggles, Kylington is touted as possibly the best skating defenceman in the draft. His skating ability helps him remain firmly in the discussion as a mid-first-round pick.
|Photo by Photo Agency / Anna-Lena Bergqvist |
"He's a talented first-round prospect," NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb told NHL.com. "He's an excellent, smooth skater. He's an offensive defenceman with excellent vision and playmaking skills. He has very good eye-to-hand coordination, is dangerous on the power play. He has all the tools needed and is a finesse-type player."
Pittsburgh Penguins Co-Director of Amateur Scouting Randy Sexton compares Kylington’s skating ability to that of Ottawa Senators Captain, and fellow Swede, Erik Karlsson.
"He's that kind of skater," Sexton told NHL.com. "He doesn't have Karlsson's offensive capabilities, but from a skating perspective [they're similar]. [Kylington] is a terrific skater. You look at the way the game is played now, you need defencemen who are mobile with good hockey sense, can spread the puck around the ice well. He's got good vision.”
Not known for being overly physical, Kylington will make his mark with his quickness, intelligence and ability to move the puck.
An interesting note on Kylington is that his mother is from Eritrea, a country in Africa. She fled to Sweden, escaping a civil war there when she was a teenager. Kylington’s parents met in Stockholm.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
- Sportsnet’s Damien Cox says: “(Kylington) might be the best skating blueliner in the draft.”
- TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button: “The smooth skating Kylington was a regular in the Swedish Hockey league as a 16-year-old player. Skating ability is excellent with an ease that allows him to beat the forecheck, transition from defence to offence and to jump into the offensive forays. Very good passer and his vision and smarts makes him a multiple threat because he can beat you multiple ways. Reminds one of former NHLer & fellow Swede, Calle Johansson."
- A scout, per The Hockey News: “Reminds me a bit of Niklas Kronwall – a cross between Kronwall and Trevor Daley. He just glides on his skates. Fun to watch.”