Kevin Klein: OHL Grad Leaves NHL for Switzerland’s ZSC Lions

kevin klein new york rangers hockey cardIn the summer of 2017, it was prematurely announced that Ontario Hockey League grad Kevin Klein had retired from hockey. A few days later, it became clear Klein had retired from the National Hockey League but not from hockey. He signed with ZSC Lions in Switzerland’s National League A for the 2017-18 season.

Kevin Klein

Kevin Klein played four years in the OHL from 2000-01 to 2003-04 with the Toronto Majors and Guelph Storm. A second round pick by the Majors at the 2000 OHL Priority Selection, 22nd overall, the defenseman went on to play 244 regular season games in the league, scoring 25 goals and adding 95 assists for 120 points.

What is more impressive is his 72 playoff games. In his first three years with the Majors, the team reached the Eastern Conference finals. After a trade five games into 2003-04 sent him to the Storm for Tyler Haskins and Colin Power, Kevin helped Guelph to an OHL championship, sweeping the Mississauga IceDogs in the finals.

That Storm team competed at the 2004 Memorial Cup but came out winless in three games. The tournament was hosted by the Kelowna Rockets with the home team taking the championship. The other two participating teams were the Gatineau Olympiques and Medicine Hat Tigers.

Add to that, Klein played for Canada at the 2004 IIHF World Juniors. The tournament was held in Helsinki, Finland. Canada came away with a silver medal after losing 4-3 to the United States in the final. Oh, he was also named a Third Team OHL All-Star at defense in 2003-04.

The Nashville Predators selected Klein in the second round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, 37th overall. He has played pro hockey since 2004-05, mostly in the National Hockey League but also in the AHL, UHL and Denmark’s Metal Ligaen. His time in Denmark was during the 2012-13 NHL lockout. He helped the Milwaukee Admirals reach the Calder Cup finals in 2005-06 before losing out to the Hershey Bears.

Kevin’s NHL career spanned from 2005-06 to 2016-17. Over that time, he played in 627 regular season games, scoring 38 and assisting on 116 for 154 points. His career was split between the Nashville Predators and New York Ranger. In 73 playoff games, he added 19 points. He went to the Stanley Cup finals in 2013-14 with New York, losing to the Los Angeles Kings.

So far in 2017-18, Klein has scored seven goals and assisted on seven for 14 points over 22 games. Kevin wears the ‘A’ for the club.

ZSC Lions

The Zurcher SC Lions were founded in 1930 and play home games at the Zurcher Hallenstadion in Zurich, Switzerland. The venue seats 11,200 and was opened in 2005. Since 1999-00, the Lions have won the National League A championship five times and have lost in the finals on three other occasions.

Currently, the team sits in third spot in the 12 team NLA. Teams in the league play a 50 game regular season schedule.

Kevin Klein OHL Stats

Season Team GP G A Pts PIM
2000-01 Toronto Majors 58 3 16 19 21
2001-02 Toronto Majors 68 5 22 27 35
2002-03 Toronto Majors 67 11 33 44 88
2003-04 Toronto Majors 5 0 1 1 2
2003-04 Guelph Storm 46 6 23 29 40
244 25 95 120 186


ZSC Lions

Guelph Storm

New York Rangers



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