At the start of the season, pundits had already penciled several prospects into the first five spots on NHL Draft boards. Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel are still considered locks to go first and second overall, and Noah Hanifin is likely to go third or fourth. Mathew Barzal had his season slowed by injuries, but it will be surprising if he falls out of the top 10.
One player, however, isn't going to be taken much later than what was predicted back in October. Oliver Kylington, once considered on par with Noah Hanifin as one of the best defensive prospects in the draft, had a rough year playing for Färjestad of the SHL and AIK of the Allsvenskan (the SHL is Sweden's top league, and the Allsvenskan is the second best league). As a result, his stock plummeted, and it's possible (though unlikely) that he falls out of the first round.
In our mock draft, however, that doesn't happen. The Edmonton Oilers got a generational talent at forward with their first overall selection in this year's draft, and now need to bolster their back end. With that in mind, the Oilers use the 16th overall selection in the LBC Mock Draft to select:
Oliver Kylington - D Färjestad/AIK
The Oilers add yet another high-end talent to their prospect pool, and fill a need that they have within their organization with this choice. Kylington's selection is our third defenseman in a row, after Calgary took Jeremy Roy with the 15th selection and Boston took Jakub Zboril with the 14th pick.
From the scouts:
"Kylington is another in a long line of Super Swedish defencemen. He has been playing against men. He has spent time with Farjestad in the SHL, the highest level of Swedish hockey, and with AIK in the Allvenskan. He has played big minutes and put up good offensive numbers for his age with 12 points in 34 games across the two leagues. Even more incredible is the fact that he was a regular with Farjestad down the stretch last season, at just 16 years old. While an injury unfortunatately kept Kylington out of the World Juniors, he has played for Sweden at the Ivan Hlinka tournament where he was very impressive. An outstanding two-way defenceman, Kylington is a strong skater who can rush the puck and get back into position defensively. He has an excellent stride, which gives him great speed and acceleration in both directions. Excellent agility, edge work, and pivots give him the mobility to cover all areas of the ice. Kylington shows good passing skills and excellent vision. Defensively his game relies on strong positioning, and a quick stick to take the puck off opponents and start the transition game."
Ben Kerr – Last Word On Sports
Though he's a risky player defensively, the Swede's skating skills and offensive abilities from the back end will be a good fit in Edmonton, especially with the team's current high-calibre prospects. Imagine a power play quarterbacked by Kylington, with McDavid, Taylor Hall, and possibly Ryan Nugent-Hopkins; it would be very hard to stop that kind of offensive ability.