Forever known as the guy the Nashville Predators drafted before Shea Weber, Kevin Klein has carved out a nice career for himself as the quintessential modern "stay at home" defenseman.
|2012 - Kevin Klein||47||3||11||14||-1||9||0||0||0||54||5.6|
|EV TOI/Gm||OZ %||QoT||QoC|
|5-5 Shots/60||5-5 Pts/60||Corsi On||Corsi Rel|
|Power Play||Penalty Kill|
|PP TOI/Gm||5-4 GF On/60||5-4 Pts/60||PK TOI/Gm||4-5 GA On/60|
|Penalty Plus/Minus||Favor of the Hockey Gods|
|Taken||Drawn||On-Ice Sht%||On-Ice Sv%||PDO|
Explanation of table can be found at the end of Gabby Bourque's review.
Klein has grown into a reliable presence on the right side, keeping things relatively under control on the 2nd pair and taking on the lions share of the penalty killing, all while taking very few penalties himself. Klein will never be mistaken for an All-Star or a Norris Trophy candidate, but he's the sort of quiet contributor that is typically found on competitive teams.
My Grade: B+
The path forward for Klein looks much as that of the last 2-3 years has been - expect him to take on tough duty at even strength and on the penalty kill, leaving the offensive opportunities for Weber and others such as Ryan Ellis or Jonathon Blum. Of keen interest in 2013-2014 will be the question of who plays alongside Kleiner - will the Predators give Vic Bartley a shot at the job coming out of camp, or will they seek a veteran, such as Josh Cooper's specuation about Sergei Gonchar?
Klein also deserves recognition as one of the core players who has stepped up and made a long-term commitment to Nashville, signing a 5-year $14.5 million contract extension just before the lockout began last fall. Off the ice, his personality is coming out and really growing on local fans, as he took on the mantle of hosting the weekly radio player show this last season.
Despite his focus on the defensive end of things, Klein can chip in occasionally with the odd goal, as seen here on March 25 against Edmonton: