Tyler Kleven signs entry-level deal with the Ottawa Senators

Tyler Kleven (Photo by Andy Devlin/ Getty Images)
Tyler Kleven (Photo by Andy Devlin/ Getty Images) /

"The Ottawa Senators have signed defenseman Tyler Kleven to an entry-level contract."

According to CapFriendly, the deal is a maximum AAV entry-level contract worth $925,000 annually. Because he signed out of college, he has already burned one year of the deal and will be on this contract through the 2024-25 season.

The team announced he will be joining the club on Friday, it is unclear as of now whether he will play games in Ottawa off the bat or join the Belleville Senators.

Kleven was the 44th overall pick of the 2020 NHL Draft, the fifth player selected by the Senators in 2020. So far, nine out of the ten players selected have signed their entry-level contracts with the Sens, fifth-round pick Eric Engstrand is the lone exception.

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Five players from the 2020 NHL Draft have played for the Senators thus far, including budding stars Tim Stutzle and Jake Sanderson as well as promising prospects Ridly Greig, Egor Sokolov, and Cole Reinhardt.

The Kleven selection that high in the draft was seen as a risky pick at the time, especially considering what it costed to draft him. The Toronto Maple Leafs originally owned the pick until Ottawa traded the 59th and 64th overall picks for the 44th.

The Leafs ended up selecting Finnish prospects Topi Niemela and Roni Hirvonen with those selections. Those are both well-regarded prospects around the league but neither have come over to North American yet.

Kleven has played the last three seasons for the University of North Dakota, a notable place for Ottawa Senators prospects to develop their game. He’s known as a tough, hard-nosed player who possesses a wicked slap shot and can knock an opposing player off stride with ease.

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In 35 games this year, he has scored eight goals and 18 points along with 84 penalty minutes and a +2 rating. Kleven is the latest Senators prospect to emerge from UND, he joins Sanderson, Jacob Bernard-Docker, Shane Pinto, Jonny Tychonick, and Christian Wolanin with that distinction.