2019-20 Team: United States National U18 Team
Date of Birth: January 10, 2002
Place of Birth: Fargo, North Dakota
Ht: 6’4″ Wt: 201 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2020 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 42nd (Amongst NA skaters)
- Future Considerations: 57th
- The Hockey Writers (Fisher): 67th
- The Hockey Writers (Forbes): 57th
- The Hockey Writers (Bell): 79th
Although his stats may not point towards a positive impact, Tyler Kleven’s presence was certainly felt whenever he stepped out onto the ice. More of a stay-at-home defenseman, Kleven has all the tools needed to make an impact at the next level.
Playing for the United States National U18 Team, Kleven scored 2 goals and added 10 assists for 12 points to go along with 63 minutes in penalties in 45 games played. He also played 17 games for the USNTDP Juniors where he put up two assists and 37 penalty minutes.
Standing at 6-foot-4, Kleven’s presence is certainly felt on the ice. He is great at protecting the puck from opponents and does most of his damage in the corners and around the net. He is very adept at clearing his net of any danger and uses his long stick to intercept passes and block passing lanes.
Kleven makes a great first pass out of his zone. He loves to hit his forwards in stride and rarely makes a bad decision with the puck on his stick. He is calm under pressure and is more than capable of throwing a big open-ice hit on an opponent.
Committed to the University of North Dakota for 2021-22, Kleven will most likely go back and play another season for the USNTDP. Although he will certainly need more time to develop his all-around game, Kleven already has NHL size and will certainly make an NHL impact down the road.
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Tyler Kleven – NHL Draft Projection
Although Kleven was ranked 42nd amongst North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting in their final rankings, I predict he goes higher than where they have him ranked. A big, physically developed defenceman like Kleven should have no problem attracting interest from NHL teams. I predict he goes in the second round or early third round.
“Kleven is a big defenseman who plays a sturdy defensive game. His skating is fairly average but he uses his long stick to break up rushes. When a player is able to get by his stick, he has shown the ability to impose his will physically.” – Tony Ferrari/DobberProspects
“He is a very good defensive player. He angles forwards to the boards keeping the puck away from the center of the ice and danger areas. Always has his head on a swivel when retrieving dump ins, scanning the ice for open teammates. Tyler has a very strong work ethic and is always willing to learn. Stands up for his teammates and isn’t afraid to drop the gloves when needed.” – Ruby ISS
- Great shot
- Work Ethic
Under Construction – Improvements to Make
- Closing gaps in defensive zone
Although Kleven may take a few years to round out his game, he has a really good chance to make an impact at the next level. He is a physical presence who is defensively sound and has a good shot. If all goes well, I see Kleven being a third or fourth defender at the NHL level. An NHL comparable for me would be someone like Erik Cernak. Like Kleven, Cernak is defensively sound and has a great shot. Both like to be physical and could work on their skating.
Risk/Reward Analysis Risk – 3/5, Reward – 3.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential Offense – 3/10, Defense – 8.5/10
In 2018-19, while playing in the U-17 World Hockey Championships, Kleven was the most penalized player, finishing the tournament with 16 penalty minutes.
My name is Mathieu Sheridan. I am a writer here at THW who covers the OHL and prospects in general.