The Edmonton Oilers are taking a significant risk, but it’s one that could pay off nicely.
Defenseman Oscar Klefbom has officially agreed to a seven-year contract extension, per the team’s website. That follows yesterday’s report that the two sides were close to reaching a deal of that length.
The Oilers didn’t release the financial terms, but ESPN’s Craig Custance reported on Saturday that the contract would come with an annual cap hit of $4.167 million.
That would make Klefbom’s deal comparable to the six-year, $25 million contract Adam Larsson signed in July. Both defensemen are 22 years old and were first round picks in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
In each case, the young blueliner is getting paid based more on his potential than past results. If the two defensemen develop as their respective teams hope, then those cap hits will look very good in a few years. However, Klefbom has only played in 77 NHL games so far, so the potential that this move could backfire is very real.
Klefbom will join blueliner Andrej Sekera along with forwards Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, and Benoit Pouliot as Edmonton players signed through at least 2018-19. The six players come with a combined annual cap hit of roughly $31.7 million starting in 2016-17.