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Flames don’t know yet where Kylington will play in fall

Now that Calgary Flames orientation camp is done, Oliver Kylington will visit his friend Johnny Oduya to train and hang out with him at his house in Spain.

And as for the end of the summer?

It’s anyone’s guess where the 18-year-old Swedish defenceman will end up for the 2015-16 season. Everyone would like to know.

“Me too,” said Kylington with a chuckle.

Truth be told, it’s a confusing and complicated situation for all parties involved.

This past June, Kylington (pronounced Shill-ing-ton) was selected 60th overall by the Calgary Flames but he is still contractually obligated by the AIK of the Allsvenskan. The two sides had agreed to a two-year contract this past spring.

Technically, his Canadian Hockey League rights are owned by the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League. (Which explains why Wheat Kings general manager Kelly McCrimmon was hanging around Winsport to talk to the player).

In other words, his potential destinations are:

*AIK of the Allsvenskan

*Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL

*Stockton Heat of the AHL

*Calgary Flames

But it’s not as simple as Flames general manager Brad Treliving flashing an NHL contract in front of him and bringing the player immediately overseas.

In order for the Flames to make a move, Kylington has to be released from his current agreement to sign a new one.

“You can’t be under two contracts, so that’s No. 1,” Treliving explained. “We want to find out if there’s an opportunity for that to happen. Then, the NHL-Swedish agreement … if you’re a first-round pick, you don’t have to be offered back to your Swedish team first. If you don’t get drafted in the first round, you do. There’s another twist to it. There’s a couple of steps so we’ll see.”

Kylington, who was one of the most noticeable players at this week’s development camp, has clear raw talent. Makes sense considering he has played with men since he was a 16-year-old playing with Farjestad BK in 2013-14.

He’s also well-versed in the North American life.

Before coming in late June to the NHL draft in Florida (and flying to Los Angeles to visit friends and then to Calgary for the Flames rookie camp), he was in Ottawa for the World Junior Championship and spent some time in New York, L.A., San Diego and Chicago.

Well-traveled and clearly well-prepared to make the jump to professional hockey, Kylington came to Calgary as advertised.

“First of all, you can see he’s a world-class skater,” Treliving said. “He looks different than everybody, the way he moves. He has some world-class skill and ability. Like a lot of guys, he has some areas that need to be worked on and cleaned up.

“I’m going to talk to his representative and we’ll see.”

Meanwhile, the player understands the business behind it all.

“It’s up to Calgary,” said the six-foot, 181-pound product of Stockholm. “I’m still under contract with my team back home. But I think if I’m going to come over to North America, Calgary needs to sign me. But I don’t know (the particulars). My agent and Brad can handle that. But we’ll see what happens next year.

“Right now, I know I’m going to play in Sweden.”

But, he said, the idea of playing in North America is one he could get used to.

“I like it here,” Kylington said. “It was fun (this week). I got to meet the staff and the guys here … I like the ice surface and the people around. Calgary has been good to me. But, hey, who knows? We’ll see.”

Yes, time will tell.

“Traditionally, there’s no harm in them going back (overseas),” Treliving said. “In some cases, it’s really good for them to go back. He’s played against men for two years now. At some point, you transition to a North American game. But it’s not, by any stretch, a requirement right away to come over. There are good leagues over there, a good level. But we’ll see.”

Treliving said he hoped to have something ironed out next week.

Coleton MacDonald
The Founder of Weliveforhockey.com
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