Report: Kylington Coming To North America

If you believe either AIK Hockey’s website or Swedish news outlet Expressen, Oliver Kylington is coming to North America next season regardless of whether he makes the Calgary Flames roster or not.

A Google translation of a pair of articles from Sweden seem to indicate that Kylington will be loaned to the Flames fully rather than having to balance his rights in North America with AIK’s rights. This does presume that Google’s translations are reasonably accurate, though.

From AIK’s site (via Google Translate), a quote from general manager Anders Gozzi:

Oliver did a very good camp and it opened the doors for him to reach the NHL right now. Me and Roger have talked to each other and we do not stop Oliver from the opportunity he has been given. We wish him all the luck rather than now when he will try to play for a place in Calgary, comments Anders Gozzi about why they choose to let Oliver.

Expressen’s Hannah Boman also reported that AIK is releasing Kylington from his contractual commitments. She quoted Kylington’s agent, who indicated that AIK had right of refusal for Kylington to play in North America. But given the uncertainty about Kylington’s status and the fact that the European season begins in August – two months earlier than North America’s – AIK probably just wanted some stability, both for them and the player.

So pencil him in with either the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL – if either of their imports (Rihards Bukarts and Ivan Provorov) leave – or the Stockton Heat of the AHL. That is, of course, presuming he doesn’t leap straight to the NHL.

For the curious: Kylington’s entry-level deal only kicks in if he plays 10+ NHL games next season. Otherwise, it’s a contractually-free season of development.

  • JumpJet

    Stockton looks like the perfect place to play Kylington this coming season. He’s used to playing in a men’s league but he should also be challanged by some stiffer competition. The only issue is how many other defencemen should be playing in the AHL this season. Wotherspoon, Morrison, Nakladal, Seiloff, Culkin, Kulak, Kanzig, and now Kylington. Where do you put them all?

    • JumpJet

      Stockton has another D on an AHL contract too..Stevenson?. I guess one or two might go to the ECHL because big minutes there is probably better than watching in the AHL. Hopefully one or two of these guys shows they are good enough to force the Flames to bury a contract or two in Stockton.

    • piscera.infada

      I completely agree with the playing time argument (it’s reality, at this point). While I would love to see how he does against elite North American Juniors in the WHL, I think in the (curious) case of Kylington, you want him to develop with the organization’s coaching as much as possible.

      If the major issues in his game aren’t talent-related (as anyone who was at development camp can attest to), but rather how he thinks the game and how he positions himself, I imagine you want to work on those skills above all else. In the AHL he can do that. Whereas, in Brandon, if he proves to be an elite offensive talent with defensive deficiencies, they’ll likely just tailor their game plan to him–they have nothing to gain from developing him for the future, they have tickets to sell and championships to win.

      For me, it comes down to “where is he going to develop those skills the best” over “where is he going to get the most playing time”. Kylington has the upside he has for a reason, but he also fell for a reason. If the organization wants to maximize potential, they’re going to have to put in a great deal of work with the player. If Kylignton is receptive, the gains could be massive. This is good news for the player, organization, and fans.

      • hulkingloooooob

        well said. and props for the dilla photo. a true legend! you think he would have played left wing? with those beats he could have been quite the enforcer. haha, ignore me….

  • Howedy

    Get rid of Engelland. Yesterday. This will allow our D prospects that need development to have a regular shift in Stockton this year. Wotherspoon can’t be worse than Engelland was going to be this year so move him up, and we can see if he’s for real or just a fringe NHL guy. We can trade for a 3rd pairing guy with an expiring contract if he isn’t holding his own. Seriously, trade Engelland and a late round draft pick to anyone who will take him, for anything other than an NHL contract coming back. Sadly, could be the difference between re-signing Gio or Huds next offseason, 2.9 mil is a lot to sweeten those offers.

    • Craig

      I think it is, given his younger age, I think that playing top minutes in the ECHL at least to start might not be a bad idea. But because of his pedigree I doubt management will want to do this.

  • cunning_linguist

    Kylington should go to Brandon. Some of the holes in his game, the reasons why he slipped so far in the draft, relate to fundamentals. Things like D zone coverage, positioning etc.. are best learned at a slow pace first, where he can focus on overcoming his deficiencies rather than keeping up with the pace of the AHL.

    Unless your name is Seth Jones or Aaron Ekblad, the CHL has continued to prove a great league for top D prospects in their Draft +1 years (Hayden Fleury, Darnell Nurse, Josh Morrissey, Morgan Riley etc..)

    He needs to pull a Billy Madison and go back through grade school again, cover all the subjects and make sure he’s solid before you let him debate Eric for his father’s company.

    • SmellOfVictory

      Disagree. Kylington’s skating is way too good for junior and it will just mask his deficiencies. The same as Hunter Smith’s size will never let you know what you’ve really got with him while he remains in junior. Both players need to go pro.

      • Burnward

        Let’s remember though that he’s just 18 and there’s a glut of young d-men for the AHL team.

        Brandon has a good track record of late with defensemen.

        IMO, As long as he’s over here it will probably be best and he’ll let them know where he slots this fall.

        • McRib

          Agree, people are really ignoring the fact that Kelly McCrimmon is one of the best minds in the CHL, considering he just recently turned down a big job from Toronto it would speak to this even further. I wouldn’t mind him at the AHL level, but if he doesn’t Brandon is as good as any in the CHL for prospect development. Winning a Memorial Cup would only help with confidence as well, which Brandon seems very poised to do.

  • RedMan

    Ok, Kylington drops from top 10 talk predraft all the way to 60th pick…. then AIK seemingly let him go easily… coincidence? Did AIK just “do the right thing” for the kid, or paid off by Flames, or are they glad to let him go and be someone else’s problem? He for sure has a great skill set, but… what about attitude and personal stuff?

    • SmellOfVictory

      Attitude was never a concern. The concern is basically defensive positioning and (maybe) hockey sense. Obviously they’re big concerns because he did drop quite far, but coming to North America should be the best route for him in terms of developing that aspect of his capabilities.

      As far as AIK dropping him: he’s an 18 year old kid who wasn’t blowing anyone away in the SEL (he was good for his age, but not compared to the men he was playing against). It’s not a huge loss on their part. It’d be equivalent to Granlund deciding he wanted to play in Europe; is he a promising kid? Sure. Is he a good NHLer? No.

      • RedMan

        I seem to remember a bit of loobs talk about Kylington, and if memory serves me, he skirted the issue a bit, suggesting though there was some growing up to do or something to that effect? I mean, who doesn’t need to grow up at 18!

        It’s going to be interesting… looking forward to seeing how this one plays out. the NHL is all about skating, especially for defense now, and he seems to be considered one of the better skaters.

  • RedMan

    I really like Kylington, and I’m very much in the ‘send him to Stockton’ camp. Here’s my wild, baseless prediction – he’ll earn a spot on the top pairing in Stockton by the end of this season and fast-tracked to an NHL career as a result.

    • piscera.infada

      I agree that you are Not A GM! There are other Flames D prospects that have been playing in North American that deserve a D spot in the AHL. He may be back in Junior i he can’t cut it in the AHL.

      • piscera.infada

        He may be back in Junior i he can’t cut it in the AHL.

        The thing is, there’s no reason to think he can’t. He was a full time player in the SHL two years ago. Could Kanzig or Sieloff have done that back then? Doubt it. Kanzig couldn’t have done it last year, for that matter.

        Last season? Kylington’s shortcomings have been talked about to death. Point is, he was injured last season and never really got on track.

        Kylington has played more games in the SHL than Dustin Stevenson has played in the AHL.