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Tyler Kleven



Skating:

For a 6-4 defender, Kleven skates very well. He can join the rush if needed, activate from the point and get back to cover. He can play either side on defense if called for. He is an average skater in general, but above-average for his size.


Passing/Handling:

He has a good, crisp accurate break out pass and makes the short passes quite well. He is an average stick handler, but slightly above-average passer.


Shooting:

he has a heavy, snap and wrist shot, which he can get off quickly from the point.


IQ (Vision, Anticipation, Panic/Poise):

He has good vision in all three zones. He scans frequently, when going back on the puck and knows what he is going to do before getting it. He shows above-average anticipation and can break up entries with his stick quite well. He shows a low panic threshold with the puck in his own end and makes the correct play more often than not.


Forechecking:

Kleven does quite well in board battles and is adept at keeping possession or moving the puck to a teammate.


Defense:

Kleven has a very long reach and a good stick, which he gets into passing lanes and breaking up zone entries. He has good gap control and good defensive awareness in his own end. He keeps his head on a swivel and is used on the penalty kill quite often. He will need to improve on his reaction time on plays down low and behind the net.


Best Asset:

his defensive awareness, active stick and his composure are his best assets.


Biggest Concern:

lack of offense. physicality will go down.


Top Tier/Role Potential:

Top-four NHL defender who can put up 20-30 points and 100/100 hits and blocks while playing over 20 minutes per game.


Justification for Top Tier Assessment:

He has been a shut-down defender in college who averaged 23-24 minutes per game and was an important penalty killer. He has limited pro experience at the age of 22 and might need another year in the AHL, but already has 17 games in the NHL.


50th Percentile Tier/Role:

Sixth or seventh NHL defender. I think the floor for Kleven is a 12-14 minute NHL defender who slots in and out of the lineup.


Justification for 50th Percentile Tier Assessment:

Even if he lost half a step, I still think he would get to his floor. He should get the opportunity and unless he has confidence crisis he should be an NHL defender on any team.


Stylistic Comparable:

Mattias Ekholm


Scouts Final Thoughts and Additional Stats/Info:

For Kleven to get a regular role with Ottawa in the NHL, the team will need to move either Chychrun, Chabot or Sanderson. All three are signed for the 2024-25 season, so Kleven might have to spend some more time in the AHL. If any are moved to another team, the logical replacement is Kleven. If not ready for the NHL, he is very close.


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