SBN Mock Draft: Lightning select Oscar Klefbom
For the past few weeks, the SB Nation hockey blog community has been staging a mock draft of the 2011 NHL Entry draft. It's all fantasy, of course, just like the 2010 NHL mock draft that we did, where we had the Tampa Bay Lightning selecting Vladimir Tarasenko with the #6 overall selection (that was used for Brett Connolly instead).
There were 26 selections up until this point, and I doubt the rest of my blogger brethren expects every selection to go exactly as we're guessing with. Some of the picks that have been made are out of personal preference, others are based on franchise needs, while others are pure guesswork. That's what most mock drafts are anyway, right? Guesswork.
With all that being said: With the #27 selection of the SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, the Tampa Bay Lightning select Oscar Klefbom, Defensiveman, Färjestads BK, Swedish Elite League.
In several different mock-drafts that you can come across on the web, Klefbom doesn't drop this far in the draft order. You can find him selected top-20 in some instances... So seeing him on the board this late gave weight to his selection.
Yes, it's another Swedish defenseman. No, I'm not the one here at Raw Charge who has the Swedish Fish craze, that's Cassie. The reason Klefbom is the selection is his size (6'4") and the fact he's another offensive defensiveman who can be groomed to play in the 1-3-1.
But Klefbom also fits into another mold for Steve Yzerman's Lightning: He's a raw talent that will develop more over time. There is no need to rush him to the NHL, or North America for that matter. Oh, it's important that the 17-year-old get to North America to learn the game here, but you don't need to rush him into the lineup. That's important with developing any prospect taken this late in the 1st round -- actually do what you can to develop them.
Power play goal by Klefbom (#19) during the U18 tournament last summer.