Edmonton Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom is expected to miss “weeks” with a hand injury that he suffered in Colorado on Tuesday.
Klefbom will return to Edmonton immediately to be evaluated but the original prognosis does not look good. This is a massive loss for the Oilers. Klefbom leads all Edmonton defensemen in power-play TOI (3:46), second in even-strength TOI (19:44) and fourth in short-handed TOI (1:55).
The 25-year-old blueliner was having a fine season, picking up three goals and 12 assists (15 points) in 31 games. Klefbom was on-pace for a career-best 246 shots, which would turn into 10-plus goals if you apply his career 4.1 shooting percentage.
With Klefbom out, the Oilers will likely promote from within for the time being. The recently acquired Chris Wideman has been a healthy scratch in eight of his first 10 games with the Oilers but will likely be a regular while their No.1 defenseman is out. Wideman could be a candidate to replace Klefbom on the top power-play unit, which would give him some season-long value in deep leagues. Jason Garrison could also draw into the lineup but he lacks the foot speed to keep up with teams like the Winnipeg Jets, who the Oilers play on Thursday.
This is the second big injury in two years for Klefbom, who missed 16 games last season—including the last 10 games of the regular season after undergoing shoulder surgery. The Oilers were 8-7-1 in those 16 contests without Klefbom.
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