LBC Mock Draft: Oliver Kylington goes 16th overall to the Edmonton Oilers
The starving back end of Edmonton picks up a solid prospect in the smooth skating Kylington.
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:
A smart two-way defenseman, who has tremendous feeling for the game and reads the plays well. Oliver Kylington is only average sized, but lets you forget the missing inches with his hockey sense, his strong vision and remarkable skating abilities. Owns a good shot from the blue-line and combined with this very good puck- and passing-skills, he can guide a power-play and the team's offensive game to success.
-Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects
"Arguably one of the very best skaters in the draft, Oliver dances on his blades with equally high-end speed, quickness and agility and makes it look incredibly effortless. His confidence seemed to falter at times and affect his productivity but a turnaround in this could eventually see him, being one of the draft’s best defencemen."
-Craig Button, TSN
"Oliver is a very good skater with first-step quickness and fine balance. He’s a two-way defenseman who loves to join the offensive rush. He’s smart, with excellent hockey sense and passing skills, and can read situations very well."
-Goran Stubb, Central Scouting Director of European Scouting
"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.