SUNRISE, FL – It's probably a good sign of development when your young, up-and-coming defenceman logs his highest time-on-ice total of the season in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

That's exactly what happened for Philip Broberg in the opening matchup against the Florida Panthers last night as the 22-year-old smooth-skating Swede played 17:55, setting a new playoff career high as well in his 14th appearance.

The eighth-overall pick from the 2019 NHL Draft has suited up for the last four games and even tallied his first-career playoff goal during Edmonton's Game 5 win over the Dallas Stars.

Broberg's fellow countryman Mattias Ekholm was asked Sunday about his contributions.

"Amazing," the veteran said. "It feels like he's played the whole playoffs and just taken steps. It's only been four games, but he's looked amazing. The way he's playing right now with is his confidence, grabbing the puck on the breakouts and skates out of trouble. He's amazing back there when he gets his feet moving. He's been a huge energy boost and a huge insert for us on the back end. I hope he keeps it going because he looks really well."

Connor & Mattias talk with the media on Sunday following Game 1

Broberg's post-season play is even more impressive considering the left-shot blueliner has mostly been playing on the right side, especially during Game 1 of the Final with Brett Kulak as his partner.

"Broby has been outstanding for us," Head Coach Kris Knoblauch said Sunday. "We've put him in a lot of difficult situations. I think it comes back to the Dallas game where it was almost a must-win and he is inserted in the lineup and plays a pretty good game. And then since that game, he's just continually gotten better and better."

The bench boss was asked whether his coaching staff is considering any defensive pair shuffling that would give Broberg even more responsibility, considering he's had strong – albeit brief – showings with both Darnell Nurse and Evan Bouchard in the playoffs.

"Throughout the playoffs, we've been open to trying things, and some have worked, some haven't," Knoblauch said. "As for our D pairs going into Game 2, we are open for some experiments, changing things around a little bit, but we haven't decided on anything yet."

After getting blanked by Sergei Bobrovsky and the Panthers 3-0 in Game 1, the Oilers will look to bring a split back to Edmonton with a victory in Game 2 coming up on Monday.