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Questions continue to circle around Oscar Klefbom’s future in the NHL.

The Oilers defenceman, who underwent successful shoulder surgery in March, spoke with media Friday where he acknowledged he doesn’t know what his future holds.

“It’s tough to say,” said Klefbom, who added he was very happy to be in Edmonton and around the team. “(My doctor) says I might be able to play again, but there’s always going to be a risk.

“We’re going to see where I am at when the rehab time is coming to an end, and it’s time to make a decision. We’re going to follow up many, many times. He’s optimistic, but he can’t really guarantee anything.”

The surgery itself, Klefbom said, was a “fairly significant” surgery, without delving into the details of what it was.

We do know Klefbom has been dealing with issues with his left shoulder for years and has had issues with arthritis that’s believed to have led to the latest issues. His rehab process has him taking things on a week to week basis, and he said he knows what he needs to do in the summer to prepare.

“When it comes to quality of life, every guy in here that’s priority number one — you want to have a good life after hockey as well,” said Klefbom. “Most of us have been playing with pain for a long time, but when it affects your private life — you can’t really put your clothes on or lift anything — that’s when it comes to a point where I wanted to have the surgery done.”

Edmonton will have a tough choice less than 100 days from now in terms of the expansion draft and it’s not unlikely the Oilers leave Klefbom exposed. But that largely depends on Klefbom’s status, too.

If Klefbom is still recovering and it appears he is able to return to play, the Oilers would likely want to protect their cost-controlled defenceman who has no issue eating top pairing minutes.

If his recovery is still up in the air, Edmonton could opt to leave him exposed and thus, leave Seattle to grab him. Would they? Hard to say. I can’t imagine the Kraken wanting to choose an injured player no matter how good they maybe.

And lastly, if Klefbom’s never to play again, he will be destined for retirement or the LTIR.

No matter what happens, Klefbom has no hard feelings.

“I wouldn’t be shocked (to be left unprotected),” said Klefbom. “Obviously I want to be here, my whole NHL career has been here in Edmonton and I love the organization and the guys here.

“But it’s business and I understand Kenny is in a tough situation… when it comes to protecting players for the expansion draft. There’s nothing I can really do. I’m just going to do everything I can in my power to be ready when the puck drops. If it’s in Seattle or Edmonton, that’s not really up to me.”

Drafted by the Oilers in the first round 19th overall in 2011, the native of Karlstad, Sweden, has appeared in 378 games with the Edmonton Oilers since the 2013-14 season scoring 34 goals and 156 points.


Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.



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