The Nashville Predators announced that Kevin Klein has been re-signed to a three-year deal that will keep him a Predator through the 2012-13 season. Klein is an original Predator draftee from the class of 2003.
At the end of last season, the Predators envisioned Klein moving to the second line and gave him a list of expectation to work on over the summer that would prepare him for the huge jump in minutes that he has seen this season.
When I talked to him during the pre-season camp, Klein discussed his preparation and dedication to his increased role. The Predators were obviously pleased with the result and have rewarded him accordingly.
Congrats to Kevin Klein who will be a Predator for at least three more seasons.
Here is the official release from the Predators...
PREDATORS SIGN DEFENSEMAN KEVIN KLEIN TO A THREE-YEAR CONTRACT
Nashville, Tenn. (January 19, 2010) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed defenseman Kevin Klein to a three-year, $4.05 million contract that runs from the 2010-11 season through the 2012-13 campaign.
Klein, 25 (12/13/84), is averaging 20:12 per game in 2009-10, an increase of more than 7:30 over last year's average ice time (12:39). It the highest season-to-season increase in the League this campaign. Additionally the Kitchener, Ont., native has logged more than 20 minutes 30 times this season after doing so just twice in 81 career contests prior. The 6-1, 201-pound blueliner has appeared in 48 of Nashville’s 49 games this season, and has already tied a career high in assists (8). He is also ranked 21st in the League in blocked shots (93).
Nashville’s third selection, 37th overall (second round) in the 2003 Entry Draft, Klein is one of four defensemen from the Predators 2003 draft class currently on the club’s roster (along with Ryan Suter, Shea Weber and Alexander Sulzer). In 129 career games since 2005-06, Klein has 24 points (6g-18a) and 40 penalty minutes.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass