A warm welcome to Kevin Klein, the new import player of the ZSC Lions! Let’s get to know him better…
Date of birth: 13.12.1984
Kevin Klein was born in Kitchener (Ontario, Canada), a city of over 200’000 inhabitants situated 100 km west of Toronto.
Kevin grew up as a hockey player in the Kitchener Jr. Rangers youth team, and for the 2000-01 season he reached Toronto St. Michael’s Majors, the OHL team where he remained for 3 seasons and a while. In fact, the 4th season is mainly played with Guelph Storm always in the OHL.
In 2003 he was drafted during 2nd round in 37th absolute position by the Nashville Predators.
Starting from the 2004-05 season, he begins to commute between the Nashville Predators in NHL and the Milwaukee Admirals in AHL. It should be said that Kevin Klein played predominantly in AHL, collecting only 18 appearances in the league number one in the world.
The situation lasts until the beginning of the 2008-09 season, when he finally succeeds in gaining a stable place with the Predators. In Nashville, Klein remained for 5 and a half seasons (including a short break in Denmark at Herlev Eagles during the 2012 lockout).
During the season 2013-14, in fact, in January he is traded for Michael Del Zotto and reaches the New York Rangers, the team he played for the last 3 seasons before reaching Zürich.
Kevin Klein is described as a rocky defender, who always give it all, with great spirit of sacrifice and a great shot.
In order to know him better, and to know what to expect from him as a player, we got in touch with Joseph Fortunato of the website Blueshirtbanter ( https://www.blueshirtbanter.com/ )
We thank him for his availability, and below we propose you in full his impressions on the player. Namely, his strengths, and his weaknesses.
Klein isn’t flashy, but he’s a tough defenseman who does have a booming shot. Capable of surprising bursts of offense, Klein can do fill-in work on the power play if needed. He should be able to do work along the boards, and he’s not the worst guy at eventually moving the puck out of the zone.
He’s slowed down a bunch and I can’t imagine the bigger ice surfaces are going to help him much there. He can clear a crease, but he’s going to have major issues with the speedier players in the league. I think penalty kill time will be equally difficult, since there’s so much more space.
Thank you very much, Joseph!
It’s hard to imagine which kind of contribution Kevin Klein can give to the ZSC Lions. On paper it seems to be a good addition, his offensive production should prove to be an important asset for the Lions. In addition, his over 600 games played in NHL certainly allowed him to gain the experience that, especially in tough moments, will be at the disposal of the team. Moreover, he can bring energy thanks to his competitive spirit and determination.
Our league however is known to be very fast. It will be interesting to see if Kevin will succeed in compensating a certain lack of speed with his qualities and experience. And even to understand how much the back problems he had last season might have an impact on his performances.
If paired with a fast and complementary defender, and if he can stay fit, he can become a really important player for the Lions.
To finish, we invite you to read the following article (in english) of Stan Fischler (msgnetworks.com) about Kevin’s NHL career.
Kevin Klein, between 2012 and 2014, when playing for the Nashville Predators he was teammate of a couple of players we know quite well in Switzerland… Roman Josi, Nick Spaling (current Genève Servette player), and for 4 games also with Linus Klasen (current Lugano player)
Let’s now look at his career stats and finally some videos.