The Edmonton Oilers announced today that defenseman Oscar Klefbom and centerman Anton Lander have been recalled on an emergency basis. The press release is basic, and is mum on whom they are replacing in the lineup, but this is great news for these two prospects.
Klefbom, having missed two games due to a minor upper body injury, will make his NHL debut with a whirlwind of prospect speculation. Is he good enough? Is he ready for the NHL? Is he going to be okay? The answer to all those questions is still maybe. And that’s fine for now, he’s a rookie, with only 45 North American games under his belt. He’s not a goal scorer, but he’s a mighty puck mover who is strong, smart, but still very young. This will give the Oilers a good look at one of their highest end prospects.
Then there’s Anton Lander. The guy who is a regular call-up, and the captain of the Oklahoma City Barons. He’s good. The short and sweet of his game is that he does virtually everything very well – score, assist, kill penalties, score power play goals. Sticking him where he needs to go is probably the most important thing. Nonetheless, he’s a really good minor league centerman. 45 points in 42 games leads the Barons, and the loss is huge for the team in OKC. He’s a leader in the stat sheet and in the dressing room. Things that are difficult to immediately replace. Scratch that, they are impossible to immediately replace.
The Barons play Sunday in Rochester. The Oilers play Sunday, at home, against the Los Angeles Kings. Two games certainly worth watching.
The Barons will have to squeeze in another defender, which will have to come from the lower leagues IF Klefbom is gone longer than a week. Remember, Steve MacIntyre can play both offense and defense if need be. Ewanyk will probably hit the roster nightly, and perhaps we see the return of Ryan Hamilton and Andrew Miller, both whom have been injured in recent months. Regardless, some juggling of the roster on the farm is coming. With a post season birth wanting to be had, it will be “go time” for Todd Nelson and Barons GM Bill Scott.