Ken Holland nervous about way forward for Oilers prime d-man prospect, as properly he must be

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This in from Daniel Nugent-Bowman of The Athletic, worries from Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland about the way forward for the highest d-man prospect on the Edmonton Oilers, Philip Broberg.

Holland mentioned that Oilers coaches Jay Woodcroft and Dave Manson sees Broberg as a possible High 4 d-man however the rub the younger Swede is behind Darnell Nurse, Mattias Ekholm and Brett Kulak at left defence and he obtained restricted ice-time final season and playoffs, 12:36 in 46 common season video games and 6:53 per recreation in 9 playoff gams.

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“I don’t actually have a solution for you proper now,” Holland mentioned with regard to his view on the participant’s future. “That’s what I’ve obtained to kind out within the subsequent couple of weeks. However being within the seven gap, taking part in 5 minutes, I don’t know that that’s doing a lot for his growth and progress as a participant. He must play 15 to twenty minutes… He must get within the lineup each night time. He must play each night time and really feel necessary. That’s how younger folks develop.

“I really feel actually good about our left-side D. He can play proper. I believe he’s most snug on left. Broberg’s growth and progress weighs on my thoughts regularly.”


My take

1. Holland drafted Broberg eighth total in 2019. That’s a heavy funding. I favored listening to about Holland’s stage of concern. As he mentioned: Broberg’s growth and progress weighs on my thoughts regularly. Broberg’s coaches imagine within the participant. Holland is doing his job when he worries about this participant’s future. Holland’s suggestion that he’s obtained one thing to kind out within the subsequent few weeks with Broberg is fascinating. Unsure what Holland meant by that. It’s laborious to think about that Edmonton would transfer out Broberg now, because the participant’s worth and wage are each low. He’s a superb match underneath Edmonton’s cap. Maybe Broberg’s camp is in search of some assurance about taking part in time. On Oilers Now, host Bob Stauffer has been speaking about Broberg beginning the yr in Baksersfield and getting main minutes. Maybe that concept isn’t taking place so properly with Broberg. However I’m solely speculating right here. I do not know.

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2. I’ve obtained few doubts about Broberg as a prospect. He’s on monitor to be nearly as good a participant as Oscar Klefbom. He’s massive, quick, good, can transfer the puck and has stable defensive fundamentals. The truth is, in my very own evaluation, Broberg is a greater prospect on the identical age as Klefbom. He’s obtained higher defensive expertise. I like his means to shut on an attacker and smother him in a verify, utilizing his giant wing-span and agility to shut off all choices. That mentioned, Broberg will not be tremendous rugged and nasty within the defensive slot, and that’s what the Oilers wanted final yr, which is why Vincent Desharnais was put into the common rotation forward of Broberg, that and Desharnais being a proper shot d-man on a staff with a gap at proper defence.

3. When Broberg performed final yr, albeit towards weaker competitors, he did in addition to nearly every other Oilers d-man. Desharnais was sturdy within the common season, however his recreation fell aside within the playoffs.


4. The Oilers have seven NHL high quality d-men on the roster. For Broberg, the one query is that if he can get ice time. However there are many different questions. Will Kulak be the iffy participant we noticed within the first half of final season or the sturdy participant we noticed within the second half? Will Cody Ceci recuperate from damage and be the sturdy participant we noticed in 2021-22 or the mediocre participant we noticed in 2022-23, the man many followers would gladly see traded out of Edmonton? Will the Oilers coaches axe their iffy man-to-man defensive scheme and usher in a zone system that brings out one of the best in slot defenders like Ceci, Nurse, Desharnais and Mattias Ekholm? Will Desharnais step up or step again? And the second greatest query of all (after the problem of the Oil’s defensive system), will this staff see the exceptional well being on defence that it witnessed final yr. Relying on the reply to any one in every of these questions, the query of Broberg’s ice time can be answered. If every other d-man slips or will get injured, he’s prepared, keen and capable of step in.

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5. Kulak, Bouchard and Nurse all performed 82 video games. Ceci performed 80. Barrie and Ekholm by no means missed a recreation. Such good well being stored Broberg out of the line-up. It’s extremely unlikely the Oilers will go two straight years with such good well being on the blueline. Broberg will get his likelihood. And I predict he’ll ace it.

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