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Stauffer Stuff: April 18

by Bob Stauffer / Edmonton Oilers
Oscar Klefbom was selected 19th overall by the Oilers in the NHL draft last year

Edmonton Oilers General Manager, Steve Tambellini is burning the candle on both ends as he is over in Europe taking in the World U-18 Championships in the Czech Republic.

On top of joining Head Amateur scout, Stu MacGregor to evaluate talent at the U-18 Tournament for the upcoming 2012 NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh; Tambellini is expected to meet with Nail Yakupov’s agent, Ian Pulver to coordinate interviews and physicals for the consensus #1 ranked prospect; and Tambellini will also be meeting with Oscar Klefbom, who was selected 19th overall by the Oilers in last year’s draft.

Klefbom, a 6’3”, 200 pound left-hand shooting defenceman, is the Oilers top defensive prospect and just finished up his second season playing for Farjestads in the Swedish Elite League.

After overcoming an infection and a concussion earlier in the season, Klefbom teamed up with Minnesota first rounder’ and Farjestads’ teammate, Jonas Brodin, as Sweden’s top defensive shutdown pairing en route to winning the Gold Medal at the World Juniors this past winter in Alberta.

It is not a matter of “if” but rather “when” the Edmonton Oilers will sign the talented Swedish defender who projects to being a top four NHL defenceman, and is the organization’s surest bet amongst a deep group of defensive prospects

Swedish sources indicate that Klefbom is open to taking the next step in his hockey journey.

Currently there is no NHL agreement with Sweden, so at this moment Farjestads would have to release him in order for Kelfbom to come to North America.

This does however generally happen in Sweden when the player expresses a desire to leave for North America.

Klefbom is represented by Calgary-based agent J.P. Barry.

My guess is that Klefbom will need some time in the American Hockey League which is where Martin Marincin will be next season.

The development of Klefbom, Marincin, David Musil and Martin Gernat are going to be really interesting to watch over the next couple of seasons.

After a stellar rookie campaign in the WHL with the Prince George Cougars that saw Marincin register 12 goals and 56 points in 67 games last season, Marincin went through a tough patch or two this year with Dean Clark’s squad in P.G. before being traded to the Regina Pats.

Marincin, who was selected in the 2nd round, 46th overall in 2010, basically looked like the same guy physically this past fall that he did in the fall of 2010.

In other words the Oilers need to get him in Edmonton this summer to train.

Marincin is the biggest wild card the Oilers have amongst their prospects on the back end.

He finished this season with 11 goals and 40 points, including picking up 23 points in 28 games with the Regina Pats to close out the regular season.

After the Pats were eliminated in the WHL Play-offs by the Moose Jaw Warriors, the 6’5”, 187 pound Marincin was assigned to Oklahoma City of the AHL.

Barons Head Coach, Todd Nelson said on “Oilers Now” this week that Marincin has played “pretty well” since going to OKC.

Gernat, like Marincin, another Slovakian, will be meeting the aforementioned Moose Jaw Warriors in the WHL’S Eastern Conference Final as the Edmonton Oil Kings open up their best-of-seven series this Friday night at Rexall Place.

The Oilers had the 6’5”, 191 pound defenceman ranked in their top 35 for the 2011 NHL Draft and stole Gernat in the 5th round. Suffice to say after putting up 55 points in 60 games this season and going +41 Gernat has raised a few eyebrows in hockey circles.

Gernat does not have Marincin’s mean streak, but has a low panic threshold when handling the puck and combines with consensus top 2012 top ten overall pick Griffin Reinhart, 2010 Buffalo Sabres first round pick Mark Psysk, and 2011 Carolina draft choice Keegan Lowe, to form one of the best top four defensive corps in Major Junior hockey.

David Musil, the Oilers 2nd pick, 31st overall in the 2011 draft, is seen as more of a shutdown defenceman along the lines of a Ladislav Smid or for that matter, David’s father Frank Musil.

David had 27 points and picked up 104 penalty minutes in 59 games this season with the Vancouver Giants before having his campaign ended in March after requiring wrist surgery.

Klefbom, Marincin, Gernat and Musil give the Oilers depth on defence carrying forward, and allow the organization to have the option of drafting the best available player with the #1 overall pick at the NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh this June.

Bob Stauffer is Radio Analyst of the Oilers Broadcasts on the Oilers Radio Network and Host of “Oilers Now” Monday thru Friday Noon to 2:00PM on 630 CHED.

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