EDMONTON, AB - Home Swede home.
Following Philip Broberg's decision to stay in Sweden for the upcoming season, Oilers VP of Player Personnel Scott Howson appeared on 630 CHED's Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer to elaborate on the young defenceman's choice.
"We had a good discussion with Philip about the pros and the cons of playing in Hamilton or Skelleftea," Howson began. "He played in the Allsvenskan League last year, which is the second men's league in Sweden. Now he has a choice to go and play for Skelleftea, which is in the top men's league. They're both good league's but the SHL is a very good league."
Howson weighed both the positives and negatives of Broberg's options, which included playing in Canada with the Ontario Hockey League's Hamilton Bulldogs or remaining in Sweden to suit up with Skelleftea AIK of the SHL.
"We told him there would be pros and cons to both," he continued. "In Hamilton, he'd be a 25 to 30-minute player and play on both special teams. He'd be the best defenceman on the ice on his team and probably on the ice most nights. But he's playing against 16-, 17-, 18-, 19-year old kids.
"With Skelleftea, he's playing against men. He's playing in a really quick, good and competitive league. The game moves quickly there and he's playing against men but he's probably not going to get the same type of role. We were happy with both."
The main concern Howson had for the 2019 eighth-overall selection dressing in Sweden was limited playing time. However, after speaking to Broberg himself, Howson believes the defender will have plenty of chances to see the ice.
"It seems like he's going to get ample opportunity to play right away," Howson said. "He told me that they have eight or nine defencemen but two are hurt until Christmas with fairly serious injuries. It seems like there's going to be a spot there for him but he's going to have to go out there, earn it and play.
"I guess all things being equal if we knew he was going to play against men and play a lot, we probably favour Skelleftea just because the competition is better."
Broberg picked up two goals and nine points in 41 games with AIK in the 2018-19 season.