A country that has been an international hockey power the past few seasons has looked very ordinary so far at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship. Team Sweden stumbled through the preliminary round of this year’s tournament with just one win in four games, albeit in a Group A that also features Russia and the USA.
Perhaps it is fitting that this Swedish squad features a 2015 NHL Draft prospect who has struggled to live up to lofty expectations this season. Defenseman Oliver Kylington was said to be a high-end prospect heading into the 2014-15 season, but has only shown flashes of that ability in what has been a somewhat disappointing season for a player who has yet to turn 18. At this U18 tournament, Kylington has registered two assists and a -6 in the four preliminary games.
Kylington was ranked among the top 2015 prospects early in the season, and was still ranked first among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting in their midterm rankings. In the CSS final rankings, Kylington dropped but was still ranked sixth among European skaters.
To get a better idea of Kylington’s ability, this video from a pre-WJC exhibition game features a shift-by-shift breakdown from of his game (Kylington ended up missing the tournament due to an injury).
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