April 15 2015 07:01AM
It's very easy to overlook Oliver Kylington based on his boxcar numbers but the resume is strong and the scouting report impressive. He arrived in the Swedish Hockey League at 16 and could be the best skating defender available at this summer's draft. Oliver Kylington is a significant talent.
- Gorab Stubb, NHL Director of European Scouting: "He's a talented first-round prospect. He's an excellent, smooth skater. He's an offensive defenseman with excellent vision and playmaking skills. He has very good eye-to-hand coordination, is dangerous on the power play. He has all the tools needed and is a finesse-type player." Source
- Kelly Friesen, Buzzing the Net: Kylington dropped from CSS’ top International skater of the draft to sixth and third among defencemen. He remains an excellent skater who possesses top-end skill, but there are concerns surrounding his strength and at times he has had some positional issues. Source
- Uffe Bodin: “Smooth skating defenceman who is very efficient in transporting the puck up the ice. Very agile and athletic, but might be missing that extra hockey sense needed to become a force on the powerplay. Could become a good two-way defenceman in the NHL, maybe even a guy for a top four assignment.” Source
- Craig Button, TSN (September): The smooth skating Kylington was a regular in the Swedish Hockey league as a 16 year old player. Skating ability is excellent with an ease that allows him to beat the fore-check, transition from defense to offense and to jump into the offensive forays. Very good passer and his vision and smarts makes him a multiple threat because he can beat you multiple ways. Reminds one of former NHLer & fellow Swede, Calle Johansson.Source
Kyle Woodlief, Red Line Report, February: Until recently, offensive Swedish defenseman Oliver Kylington was in the mix, but his horrid performance at this month's Five Nations tournament in the Czech Republic scared the hell out of us, if we were a club picking in the five to eight range. Source
It should be noted that the Five Nations Tournament mentioned above is another 'small sample size' tournament and sweeping statements based on that kind of event should be tempered (the longer view is the better plan).
That said, Kylington does appear to be dropping in the rankings (Bob McKenzie had him No. 8 in pre-season and No. 11 halfway through the year, and Craig Button has him No. 29 on his latest list after having him No. 8 in January).
Oliver Kylington falling - latest is 6th amongst CSS International skaters - was spearheaded by DraftBuzz in June 2014 and by DB alone.— DraftBuzz (@draftbuzzhockey) April 9, 2015
Oliver Kylington, once 12th on Bob's midterm rankings, now ranked 24th by ISS, 29th by Button, and 6th among Euro skaters by CSS.— Shawn Reis (@ShawnReis) April 8, 2015
WHERE WILL HE GO?
I think Kylington may have been negatively impacted by the Five Nations and his spring performance but there's every chance he'll recover at the upcoming U18's this week (Swedish roster here). Corey Pronman and Bob McKenzie will no doubt have their takes but I'd be surprised if either ranked Kylington outside the top 20 overall on their final lists.
My guess is he's gone by the time Pittsburgh's choice (currently owned by Edmonton) is on the clock.