The Edmonton Oilers have informed prospect Philip Broberg that they would prefer him to remain in Sweden for another year, rather than have him come to North America and play in the AHL, according to Postmedia’s Jim Matheson.
Broberg, the team’s eighth overall pick in the 2019 NHL draft, did play a full season with the SHL last season as an 18-year-old but did not show the offense the Oilers were hoping for in his first pro season.
The Oilers were quite enamored by Broberg’s 6-foot-3, 203-pound frame as well as his fast and impressive skating when they shocked a few by taking him with the eighth overall pick, but general manager Ken Holland has preached speed when drafting and signing players since he took over last year.
Broberg is an example of that. He has averaged 14 minutes a game in his first season in the SHL but has received little to no power play minutes. He finished his season with one goal and eight points in 45 games for Skelleftea. The hope is that soon-to-be 19-year-old will accrue more minutes in the SHL and have a chance to develop his offensive skills. He did score one goal at the World Juniors in December, but also was asked to take a lesser role and focus on defense for Sweden.
The Oilers have several defensive prospects, so the team likely could hold on for another year without Broberg in the immediate system. The team is likely going to give every chance first to their No. 1 prospect, Evan Bouchard, who has fared quite well in Bakersfield of the AHL this past year, and likely will be given a shot at winning a job with the Oilers next season. The team also has Dmitri Samorukov, who played a secondary role with Bakersfield this year and might now get a chance to take on a bigger role next season.
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