The NHL is dotted with players who were undrafted or released because their development was slowed. Money’ed teams like the Canaadiens can afford to speculate in that market without damaging their salary cap position while looking for the next Martin St. Louis.
The Canadiens have a number of them with minor league contracts in Hamilton, including undrafted top prospects Brock Trotter and David Desharnais.
Enter defenceman Kyle Klubertanz, a 2004 third-round draft choice, but not signed by Anaheim, who seems to have made a big step forward last season while playing with Djurgartens of the Swedish Elite League. Among defencemen, Klubertanz ranked 5th in the SEL with 12 goals and 19 assists in 55 games.
One scouting report reads-
Klubertanz is a solid defenseman with pretty good upside, plays hard despite his lack of size. He has a good first pass. Five of his goals came on the power play. Hard worker. His skating is average. Righthand shot. Longshot to make the Canadiens eventually.
Here’s an interview Klubertanz gave last fall in Sweden about his upcoming season with Djurgartens.
And if you haven’t had your fill of the life of Kyle Klubertanz he once ran afoul of the Wisconsin law for the heinous crime of “cow tipping” for which he and a teammate the the University of Wisconsin Badgers had to do thirty hours of community time. The kicker is, the cow that got tipped wasn’t real.
(From the Canadiens Publicity Department)
General manager Pierre Gauthier announced today the signing of free agent defenseman Kyle Klubertanz to a one-year contract for the 2010-11 season.
The 24-year old Klubertanz is a 6’01” 180 lbs defenseman who hails from Madison, WI. In 2009-10, he played with Djurgardens of the Swedish Elite League. Klubertanz was tied for second in scoring on his team, first amongst defensemen with 31 points in 55 games (12 goals, 19 assists).
Drafted in the third round, 74th overall by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Klubertanz graduated from the University of Wisconsin’ Badgers of the WCHA. In four seasons with the Badgers from 2004 to 2008 he recorded 72 points (12 goals, 60 assists), and served 206 penalty minutes.
Klubertanz also played with TPS Turku of the Finnish Elite League in 2008-09 and with the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League in 2007-08.